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“ Islam is an ethical faith that provides an entire framework for social and economic interaction. Islam is 'portable'. Thus, Islam was particularly 'well suited to merchants who needed to conduct complex transactions and to travel'. It encouraged networking because it is a unifying culture”.
“ Muslims dealt in slave trade and ivory in East Africa, in pearls and gold in the Persian gulf, in rice and cotton in India, and in silk, tea, and porcelain in China. Islam not only sustained merchant communities throughout the Indian Ocean, but also attracted converts”.
“ The Indian Ocean began its modern history as a Portuguese imperial lake”.
“ Within two decades of Vasco de Gama's voyage in 1498, the Portuguese came to dominate the most important sea routes and trading networks between East Africa and modern-day Indonesia”.
“ The Portuguese occupied Goa on the western coast of India in 1510, Malacca in the Malay Strait in 1511, Hormuz on the Persian Gulf in 1515, and Colombo in Ceylon in 1518. By 1571 there were some forty Portuguese forts and outpost in the Greater Indian Ocean, challenging and controlling sea routes”.
“ The future of Islam will be strongly determined by what happens in Indonesia”.
“ 'After the 2004 tsunami' which killed close to 250,000 people in the Indian Ocean and damaged over a thousand miles in Indonesia, 'Islam here became more self-conscious, more self-aware almost'. The tsunami has affected the extraordinary complex struggle for the soul of Islam itself in Indonesia”.
“ The places where Islam established early and deep roots were those closest to international trade routes. The farther inland you go, the more idiosyncratic Islam becomes. Islam became merely the top layer of a richly intricate culture”.
“ The profession of piracy is as old as seafaring itself. The first man who ever straddled a drifting log probably knocked the second man from another log. So piracy began. It has been going on ever since”.
Some refer to piracy as the “'secondary form of war' that tends to erupt in the interregnum of conflict between great states”.
“ Piracy has been endemic to the Indian Ocean, from Aden to Malacca, particularly so after the Western intrusion into these waters beginning with the Portuguese in the early 16 th century”.
“ In Puntland, piracy is seen as both a lucrative and legitimate practice. It is seen to curtail illegal fishing”.