In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, commentators on East Asia Forum have highlighted the moderate character of Southeast Asian Islam. Bahrawi argues that contested interpretations of Islam are democratising Islam in Southeast Asia — but similar contests seem to be ineffective in countries like Pakistan. And van Bruinessen argues that large, resilient Islamic organisations are stabilising Indonesian democracy — but comparable organisations are failing to play such a role in other Islamic countries. So are local factors playing a bigger role in Southeast Asia than is usually suspected? Islamic countries in Southeast Asia can be treated as valid role models for other Muslim countries only if non-local factors can explain the existence of moderate Islam in Southeast Asia.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/vikas_kumar/101/