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Open Access Dutch Colonial Containment of Islam in Manggarai, West-Flores, in Favour of Catholicism, 1907-1942

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Dutch Colonial Containment of Islam in Manggarai, West-Flores, in Favour of Catholicism, 1907-1942

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Abstract West Flores or Manggarai was until 1900 known as territory of the Muslim Sultan of Bima. In 1907 the Dutch effectively took possession of the region and after 1910 they entrusted the introduction of schools to the Catholic missionaries. The coastal Muslim settlements were neglected in favour of the mountain region, where finally one local chief, mission-educated Alexander Baroek became the most important native counterpart of the colonial rule. The ties with Bima were formally broken in the 1920s. Herewith Catholicism gained political and social influence to the detriment of the expansion of Islam and Manggarai joined the rest of Flores to become a majority Catholic society. There was no overall strategy to destroy Muslim influence, but it was simply the result of a longer chain of not always related decisions. This choice was in line with the colonial strategy of creating a prosperous Flores.

Affiliations: 1: Utrecht University karel@steenbrink.nu

10.1163/22134379-12340024
/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-12340024
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
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Abstract West Flores or Manggarai was until 1900 known as territory of the Muslim Sultan of Bima. In 1907 the Dutch effectively took possession of the region and after 1910 they entrusted the introduction of schools to the Catholic missionaries. The coastal Muslim settlements were neglected in favour of the mountain region, where finally one local chief, mission-educated Alexander Baroek became the most important native counterpart of the colonial rule. The ties with Bima were formally broken in the 1920s. Herewith Catholicism gained political and social influence to the detriment of the expansion of Islam and Manggarai joined the rest of Flores to become a majority Catholic society. There was no overall strategy to destroy Muslim influence, but it was simply the result of a longer chain of not always related decisions. This choice was in line with the colonial strategy of creating a prosperous Flores.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-12340024
2013-01-01
2016-12-04

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