The Middle East-Asia Project (MAP) is an initiative undertaken by the Middle East Institute which is designed to serve two broad objectives:

1. To promote awareness and understanding of the multidimensional relations between the Middle East and Asia by providing information and analysis on cross-regional economic, political, security, and social/cultural interactions and their implications; and

2. To foster collaborative research and other activities regarding Middle East-Asia relations through establishing an online community of experts and forging institutional partnerships.

The Cyber Library contains publication details, abstracts and live links to full text versions of previously published works on Middle East-Asian affairs organized by country and by topic/issue.

The Experts Directory contains the profiles and contact details of a worldwide network of academics, business leaders, diplomats, journalists, researchers and other practitioners affiliated with the MAP.

The Infographics project element consists of periodically updated charts, tables and timelines depicting key trends and developments in trade, investment, migration, and other spheres of cross-regional activity.

The Publications element is organized as follows: (more…)

The Islamic Centre America in Dearborn, Michigan

by IMTIYAZ YUSUF, Bangkok Post, June 8, 2008

I recently got back to Thailand after a one-and-a-half month stay in the United States, where I was a student of Islamic Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, and where I spent seven years during the 80s and 90s. The tour revealed to me a very different Islam in the post-9/11 United States. In the face of widespread bias and prejudice, personal attacks, deep suspicion and misinformation about Islam marked by the prevalence of Islamophobia in the American mindset, Muslim society in the US has undergone a tremendous internal transformation, with the aim being to prove loyalty to the American nation by undertaking steps towards political, social and civil integration. The seven million-strong American Muslim community is emerging and evolving as both an integral part of the American socio-political milieu and a distinct section of the worldwide Muslim community. (more…)

OK Baytong (2003), directed by Nonzee Nimibutr,
addresses troubles in Muslim southern Thailand.

In recent years, with increased attention to Muslim-attributed violence, Islam has become of greater interest to the scholarly community. Scholars who have had no prior interest in Islam are now suddenly fascinated enough to start submitting grant proposals. Granting agencies are more interested in Islam, as are publishers. No where does this seem to be more true than in Southern Thailand. The unrest in the southernmost provinces, especially Patani, in the past two years has led to an unfortunate double association of Violence (which has now become a Social Fact, like Anomie and Bureaucracy) with Islam and Southern Thailand.

Is this madrasah in Indonesia or Thailand?

Throughout the Islamic world there are traditional educational institutions which, at a minimum, teach religious subjects including Quranic memorization, Quranic interpretation, the traditions of the Prophet (hadith) and Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). In many parts of the world, these schools are called madrasah, although the term in Modern Arabic can refer to any kind of school. In Southeast Asia they are called variously, pondok, pondok pesantren, and pesantren. Typically, these schools center around a charismatic headmaster and are residential in nature. I will use the term pondok to refer to all Southeast Asian madrasah-type schools because in certain places in the region the term madrasah means a completely different kind of educational institution. Although it is reasonable to presume that pondok between different countries and areas in the region started out virtually indistinguishable in form and function, local and national histories have shaped them differently. Of particular interest are the curriculum debates and changes that arise.