New publication by Rosemarijn Hoefte in ‘Islam and the Americas’

New publication by Rosemarijn Hoefte: ‘Locating Mecca; Religious and political discord in the Javanese community in pre-independence Suriname’. In:  Aisha Khan (ed.), Islam and the Americas. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2015, pp. 69-91.

This chapter addresses the schisms in the Javanese community in Suriname in the 1940s and 1950s. The overwhelming majority of Javanese were Muslims, yet intra-religious strife split the group. The argument between worshippers who prayed as in Java, thus facing westward, and those facing east toward Mecca was also a dispute involving Javanese culture, politics, and whether the future of the Surinamese Javanese was in Suriname or in newly independent Indonesia. The author argues the rancorous tone of the debate diminished when gradual sociocultural and socioeconomic advancement improved the lives of Surinamese Javanese.

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