It examines the way in which European administrators and educators distinguished religion from secular science and yet promoted vernacular languages and cultures while tolerating the private, not governmental teaching of Arabic and Islamic knowledge. The Europeans generally saw the teaching of Islam and Arabic as medieval with memorisation and indoctrination in contrast to what they deemed modern science and education. Colonial politics of inclusion and exclusion played a role of the tension between Islamic religious knowledge and modern science. Despite the ambivalences and tensions, European colonial and Muslim educators led to the secularisation of education in the Indonesian-Malay world.
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