Migration, Mobility and the Embedding Process

The Nusantara Islam Experience



knowledge-baseline, pluralism, plurality, plural society, diversity, migration, European colonial rule, embeddedness, ‘embedization process'


Analysis of Islam, migration, mobility and cultural diversity in Nusantara covers Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Southern Thailand, Southern Philippines, and Southern Kampuchea. It tends to be highly empirical in orientation, providing rich, detailed narratives, especially those offered by anthropologists. However, researchers are less interested in developing a conceptual umbrella or analytical tools such as the ‘knowledge-baseline’ and the ‘embedded thesis’ and accessing the macro landscape of cultural diversity in the region. This brief presentation begins with a conceptual framework. It argues that the region is heir to Hindu and Buddhist traditions and three European colonial government and administration systems (Portuguese, Dutch, and British). Islam is but one among all these. In some aspects, the Islam practised in the region has been transformed and reformulated by historical-structural realities. Thus, to understand Islam in Nusantara, one must begin with data from the area rather than some Middle Eastern and theological formulation of Islam. However, we must recognize Islam as a universalist theology originating from the Arabic Middle East. Therefore, a more informed analysis and understanding of Islam and Muslims in Nusantara and their contemporary articulations must be ‘embedded’ in the historical reality based on a ‘knowledge baseline,’ or timeline from ‘plurality to plural society to diversity, each representing a component of the generic sociological concept of “pluralism.” Generated by a complex process of migration. Similarly, to understand contemporary Islam and Muslims in the context of cultural diversity within Nusantara, its ‘embedization processes’, both in terms of breadth and depth and migration-based, must be understood historically and sociologically.

Author Biography

Kartini Aboo Talib@Khalid, Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA)

Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid (PhD) is a Professor and Deputy Director at the Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She was appointed as a Country Consultant for Malaysia to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (2014), a recipient of Sumitomo Foundation Japan (2011), a grantee for Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on Gender, Terrorism and Deradicalization (2020-2022), and a Fulbright Scholar to Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts (2000-2005) and earned a doctoral degree in Law, Policy and Society (LPS). She is an expert in public policy and ethnicities; a core member that developed five policy papers on various public contexts, including the National Unity Policy, Blueprint of Unity, and National Unity Plan of Action. Her research focuses on gender, civil society, comparative politics, ethnicity, and consumerism. She has published chapters in books and scholarly articles on various issues about policy, including alternative dispute resolutions and consumer rights, ethnicity and consumerism, labour law and immigrants, gender and politics, nonprofit and policy implementation, election and environmental policy, and sustainability. Her book Policy Implementation and People Processing Organizations was published in 2014 by Scholar Press, Saarbrucken, Germany, and her forthcoming books are Gender and Deradicalization, and Women and Election. Her most current publications can be viewed at http://www.ukm.my/kita/academic/kartini-aboo-talib-khalid/




How to Cite

Amri Baharuddin, S., & Aboo Talib@Khalid, K. (2023). Migration, Mobility and the Embedding Process: The Nusantara Islam Experience. Journal of Ethnic and Diversity Studies (JOEDS), 1(1). Retrieved from https://joeds.com.my/index.php/home/article/view/11