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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Southeast Asian Studies
Title A Study of the Hoi giao Religion in Vietnam: With a Reference to Islamic Religious Practices of Cham Bani
Volume 1
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 487-505
URL https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/seas/1/3/1_KJ00008190239/_pdf
This paper examines Hồi giáo, a state-recognized religion translated as “Islam” in
Vietnam, and will focus on the Islamic religious practices of the Cham Bani, one of
two groups of Muslims in Vietnam. While it is recognized that diverse Islamic
religious practices have taken root in various areas, there is a tendency to view
religious practices such as the Quran recital, Ramadan, Salat, and so on, with a
sweeping uniformity. As such, regardless of how “unorthodox” they are, the people
who engage in such practices within society are regarded, or classified, as Muslim.
The Cham Bani have also been described as an unorthodox Muslim sect, on the
basis of its syncretic religious practices. However, the Cham Bani practitioners see
themselves as neither Muslim nor members of the Islam community, and consider
that they have experienced a different evolution of Islamic religious elements.
Is it possible to equate Hồi giáo with Islam and its followers with Muslim? This
paper examines these questions through observations of the self-recognition, as
well as the actual conditions of Islamic practices among the Cham Bani, especially
the rituals that are observed during Ramadan. It reveals the possibility that Vietnam’s
state-recognized religious sect of “Islam” and its “Muslim” followers are polythetic
in nature and differ from the conventional definitions of Islam and Muslim, based on
a monothetic classification.

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