Originating from a radio program called “Asia Calling”, this book has been written to encourage Muslims in Asia to get to know one another better and to learn from each other. The focus is on South and South-East Asia, especially those living in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, and Indonesia, where the guest presenter of this program hails from.
This is not an unreasonable or irrational idea. First, these areas of Asia are inhabited by the largest population of Muslims in the world, far more even than in the Middle East, the birthplace of Islam. Second, if not the contemporary context, history tells us that, in general, Muslims in these areas have their own special brand of Islam, marked by syncretism, and wide support for religious tolerance and pluralism. Third, the economic, political and security issues in these regions in recent years, such as radicalism and acts of violence and terrorism in the name of Islam, are problems that arise largely from the failure of modern state governments to keep independence promises — and that is not directly related to Islam. Finally, due to all these reasons, Muslims in these two regions have many similarities that could be explored and shared.