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Supporting the Faith, Building the Empire: Imperial Japan’s Islamic Policies in World War II

December 3, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Supporting the Faith, Building the Empire: Imperial Japan’s Islamic Policies in World War II


Supporting the Faith, Building the Empire: Imperial Japan’s Islamic Policies in World War II


This talk will examine some of the ways that the Japanese Empire curried favors to Muslims in China, and later throughout East Asia, in the lead up to and throughout World War II. Drawing on examples from my recent book, China’s Muslims and Japan’s Empire: Centering Islam in World War II, the talk will present viewers with concrete policies and explore some of the ways that the Japanese Government envisioned themselves as the benevolent protectors of Islam while at the same time advancing their imperial, expansionist visions. For their part, Muslims from around the colonial world found the anti-western and anti-Soviet rhetoric expounded by the Japanese Empire appealing to a certain extent. By placing Muslims at the center of Japan’s imperial ambitions, it becomes clear that their visions for empire went far beyond what we would now consider to be the geographic boundaries of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere into predominantly Islamic spaces like Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. 

Dr. Kelly Hammond is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Dr. Hammond received her Ph.D. in East Asian history from Georgetown University in July 2015. Her work specializes in the history of Islam in East Asia, particularly focusing on the political, social, and cultural history of Chinese Muslims from the Qing Dynasty through into the People’s Republic of China. Her current project argues that Chinese Muslims living under occupation who collaborated with the Japanese imperial project were actively involved in creating an on-going dialogue between the Japanese Empire and the Chinese Nationalists about strategies for managing minority populations. While Dr. Hammond’s work focuses on the history of Islam in East Asia, her general research interests include the broader study of imperialism and nationalism in Asia, minority populations in China’s borderlands, World War II in the Pacific, espionage history, as well as the history of the relationship between nomads and settled peoples in East Asian history. Her recent work has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS China Studies postdoctoral fellowship, the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan, the American Philosophical Association, and the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, where she is currently a fellow-in-residence. Dr. Hammond also serves on the editorial board of Twentieth-Century China.
The event is organized by the CRF Project “Infrastructures of Faith: Religious Mobilities on the Belt and Road [BRINFAITH]” (RGC CRF HKU C7052-18G), which is hosted by the ASIAR – Asian Religious Connections Research Cluster in HKIHSS.


December 3, 2020
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Via Zoom (Registration required)