Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Speaking new truths

Sadanand Dhume's book, My Friend, the Fanatic, traces the gradual shift towards Islam in Indonesia...
In Early 2002, Sadanand Dhume, a journalist based in Washington decided to write a book travelling across the Indonesian Archipelago in an attempt to understand the growing power of the Islamist fringe.The book, titled My Friend, the Fanatic talks about the prospects of one of the largest and only Islamic democratic country being overrun by a radical Islamist organisations. 

“In this book, I have made an effort to understand the reasons for the radical fringe in Indonesia becoming more powerful, even though they continue to be a small number. The future of Indonesia is very important, for the Muslim world and the rest of the planet.”

Dhume contends: “Till a couple of decades ago, most Indonesians were secular. However, slowly there was an Islamisation of society. One of the prime examples being the fact that Arab names have begun to outnumber Sanskrit names in primary schools. An old culture comprising elements of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam is being replaced slowly.”

Full report here The Hindu

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