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Arabophobia And Tarekat: How Sayyid 'Uthmān Became Advisor To The Netherlands Colonial Administration

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on how Sayyid ‘Uthmān came into contact with the Dutch and, despite his belonging to the distrusted Arab community, rose to prominence in the Dutch colonial administration to become its Honorary Advisor for Arab Affairs. It presents a brief survey of the history of the Arabs in the Netherlands East Indies, and of Sayyid ‘Uthmāns life and career before coming into contact with the Dutch, which shows the obstacles he had to overcome in order for his appointment to take place. The colonial administrations distrust of Arabs can be summed up in a single word: Arabophobia. Sayyid ‘Uthmān was not the only one concerned about the tarekat; it also induced anxiety in the government. Different motives led to a common aversion to the tarekat and a long-time partnership of fruitful cooperation.

Keywords: Arab community; Arabophobia; Netherlands colonial administration; Sayyid ‘Uthmān; tarekat



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