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From Anatolia to AcehOttomans, Turks, and Southeast Asia$
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Andrew Peacock and Annabel Teh Gallop

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265819

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265819.001.0001

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Hadhrami Mediators of Ottoman Influence in Southeast Asia

Hadhrami Mediators of Ottoman Influence in Southeast Asia

(p.89) 5 Hadhrami Mediators of Ottoman Influence in Southeast Asia
From Anatolia to Aceh

Jeyamalar Kathirithamby-Wells

British Academy

The chapter traces through trade, khuṭbah and diasporic networks the importance of Hadhramaut and the Hadhramis of Southeast Asia to Ottoman Indian Ocean interests. By virtue of their religious, commercial and scholarly status the Hadhrami sayyids influenced the emergence of anti-colonial rhetoric in the Netherlands East Indies. By the second half of the nineteenth century, the Caliph's attempts to boost his prestige within Dār al-Islām, compensating for Ottoman political attrition on the European front, merely aggravated festering Dutch suspicions of a Hadhrami-inspired anti-colonial conspiracy. Consequent Dutch discriminatory treatment of Arabs backfired, however, allowing for the ready co-option of Hadhrami agency by the new Ottoman consulate for promoting the Caliphate. Though the Caliph's agenda made little headway, given the influence of the Netherlands in European politics, the ‘Arab problem’ foregrounded new concepts of citizenship and nationality pertinent to both Hadhrami–Ottoman relations and rising nationalism in the region.

Keywords:   Hadhrami diaspora, sayyids, Hadhramaut, Indian Ocean, Ottoman Empire, khuṭbah networks, Netherlands East Indies, anti-colonial movement, Caliph, Caliphate

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