The Middle East and the Philippines: Transnational Linkages, Labor Migration and the Remaking of Philippine Islam
Journal: Comparative Islamic Studies
In this article, Angeles explains how historically Islam in the Philippines has been identified as a religion of ethnic groups that are concentrated in the southern part of the country. Yet Islam in the Philippines has now transcended ethnic boundaries with the increasing number of Filipino Catholics converting to Islam. The author describes how labor migration to the Middle East has led to changes in the composition of Muslims in the Philippines, which in turn has resulted in the growing plural nature of Philippine Islam. This change is demonstrated by the growth of the Balik Islam (converts/ “reverts” to Islam) movement in the country and the changing material culture of the religion (Islamic dress, mosque architecture). Angeles traces the historical development of Philippine labor migration to the Middle East, explores the linkage between labor migration and conversion, and then studies the composition, purposes and aims of the Balik Islam movements that are linked to labor migration. She goes on to analyze the patterns that emerge out of these movements and their implications for Philippine Islam.
Author: Vivienne S.M. Angeles
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