In comment on January 16, 2009 at 9:31 am
following is an excerpt from the beginning of a wonderful short article on spirit possession among the Cham in Cambodia by Emiko Stock, an anthropologist working with and on the Cham for over a decade now. The article deals with a host of important issues, though as a newspaper piece rather than an academic one, these are largely alluded to. Can’t wait to read more from Ms. Stock! Read the rest of this entry »
In Uncategorized on October 23, 2008 at 10:07 am
David Lempert, whose distressingly hilarious and obviously self-authored wikipedia page is today’s must read, was mentioned in these pages briefly a few days ago, in which I characterized him as a person promoting a Cham homeland, and compared him to people who know better.
My qualifications on this discussion are extremely limited. I am a fluent Khmer speaker who conducted three years of fieldwork in Cambodia, one year of which was funded by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship, and some time of which was funded by the Center for Khmer Studies. I mention these sources of funding to indicate that I share some of Lempert’s funding. I received other funding as well, which is not apparently relevant to this discussion.
Some of my fieldwork included fieldwork in village Kompong Cham, a province inside of Cambodia (not, as Lempert implies, somehow a mixed border area with joint jurisdiction between Vietnam and Cambodia). I do not speak Cham, and although I teach in a religious studies department, my expertise does not include Islam. I do, however, have the capacity for critical thought, and have no dog in this fight. Read the rest of this entry »
In Uncategorized on June 9, 2008 at 4:20 pm
Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli was in Washington, D.C. last week, where he described Cambodian Cham Muslims as a “very peaceful and tolerant group,” and then immediately went on to discuss the serious concerns he had regarding their potential radicalization from “outside extremists.” Reported in Voice of America: (via KI-Media)
A lot of money was coming into Cambodia’s Chams from groups spreading a violent, intolerant form of Islam, which have a lot of resources and are attracted to poor communities.
I thought of saying something snarky about this, such as identifying a few other groups which “have a lot of resources and are attracted to poor communities,” such as USAID. Instead, I’ll attempt to be more mature on this page: I asked my friend Alberto Perez-Pereiro, currently doing research in Cambodia on the Cham, to contribute a short piece in response to the Ambassador’s comments. His judicious and thoughtful piece is below; I think it deserves serious attention. Alberto begins after the jump: Read the rest of this entry »