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After Vietnam invaded and conquered ChampaCambodia granted refuge to Cham Muslims escaping from Vietnamese conquest. It was in the wake of many Sahabas who arrived in Indo-China in from Abyssinia by sea route.
Community life[ edit ] The Cham have their own mosques. In there were about mosques in the country. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Muslims in Cambodia formed a unified community under the authority of four religious dignitaries—mupti, tuk kalih, raja kalik, and tvan pake.
A council of notables in Cham villages consisted of one hakem and several katip, bilal, and labi. The four high dignitaries and the hakem were exempt from personal taxes, and they were invited to take part in major national ceremonies at the royal court.
When Cambodia became independent, the Islamic community was placed under the control of a five-member council that represented the community in official functions and in contacts with other Islamic communities.
Each Muslim community has a hakem who leads the community and the mosque, an imam who leads the prayers, and a bilal who calls the faithful to the daily prayers. The peninsula of Chrouy Changvar near Phnom Penh is considered the spiritual center of the Cham, and several high Muslim officials reside there.
Each year some of the Cham go to study the Qur'an at Kelantan in Malaysiaand some go on to study in, or make a pilgrimage to, Mecca. According to figures from the late s, about 7 percent of the Cham had completed the pilgrimage and could wear the fez or turban as a sign of their accomplishment.
The traditional Cham retain many ancient Muslim or pre-Muslim traditions and rites. They consider Allah as the all-powerful God, but they also recognize other non-Islamic practices. They are closer, in many respects, to the Cham of coastal Vietnam than they are to other Muslims.
The religious dignitaries of the traditional Cham and of the Cham in Vietnam dress completely in white, and they shave their heads and faces.
These Cham believe in the power of magic and sorcery, and they attach great importance to magical practices in order to avoid sickness or slow or violent death.
They believe in many supernatural powers. Although they show little interest in the pilgrimage to Mecca and in the five daily prayers, the traditional Cham do celebrate many Muslim festivals and rituals.
The orthodox Cham have adopted a more conformist religion largely because of their close contacts with, and intermarriages with, the Malay community. In fact, the orthodox Cham have adopted Malay customs and family organization, and many speak the Malay language. They send pilgrims to Mecca, and they attend international Islamic conferences.
Conflicts between the traditional and the orthodox Cham increased between and For example, the two groups polarized the population of one village, and each group eventually had its own mosque and separate religious organization.
Skulls of Khmer Rouge victims. Persecution of the Cham in Cambodia took place mainly during the Khmer Rouge regime from to Buddhism, which was then the dominant faith group in Cambodian society was repressed; the monks were made to be defrocked and sent to work in the fields.
Scholars and historians have differed in the definite number of victims, but have estimated that nearly one-third of the Cambodian population than were estimated to have been killed by the regime or died out of starvation and disease - bringing the total number to be between the ranges of 1.
While every other Cambodian then were victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, the persecution, torture, and killings committed by the Khmer Rouge have been proven to be an act of genocide according to the United Nations as ethnic and religious minorities were systematically targeted by Pol Pot and his regime.
Nature of the Persecution Scholars and historians have varying opinions on whether the persecution and killings under the hands of the Khmer Rouge should be considered genocide.
This is because the earlier scholarship which came about right after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in had claimed that the victims could have just been collaterals due to the circumstances they were in.
For instance, Michael Vickery opined that the killings were "largely the result of the spontaneous excesses of a vengeful, undisciplined peasant army. Vickery — erroneously, as maintained by the more recent scholarship of Ben Kiernan — argued that the number of Cham victims during the Khmer Rouge regime to be around 20,  which would rule out the crime of genocide against Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.
The killings were a centralized and bureaucratic effort by the Khmer Rouge regime, as recently documented by the Documentation Center of Cambodia DC-Cam through the discovery of Khmer Rouge internal security documents which instructed the killings across Cambodia.
This indicates that Chandler does not believe in the argument of charging the Khmer Rouge regime with the crime of genocide. Stephen Heder also conceded that the Khmer Rouge were not guilty of genocide, stating that the atrocities of the regime were not motivated by race Kiernan, Ben Kiernan makes the argument that it was indeed a genocide and disagrees with the three scholars, by bringing forth examples from the history of the Cham people in Cambodia.
Together, they became the mouthpiece of the CPK to get the Cham people to take part in the revolution The Chams were gradually made to abandon their faith and distinct practices as early as in the Southwest Ten Cham villages were taken over by the CPK inwhere new Cham leaders were instated and led the villagers to work in the fields away from their hometowns.
A witness interviewed by Kiernan asserts that they were well-treated by the CPK then, and allowed to return to their homes in Ben Kiernan argues that the violence and killings in the Eastern Zone did not occur or were not very intense before late Hence, Kiernan was quite accurate to point out that the persecution was not as intense before the rise of Pol Pot to power.Islam is the religion of a majority of the Cham (also called Khmer Islam) and Malay minorities in leslutinsduphoenix.coming to Po Dharma, there were , to , Muslims in Cambodia as late as Persecution under the Khmer Rouge eroded their numbers, however, and by the late s they probably had not regained their former strength.
In , the Pew Research Center estimated that .
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