Filipino Muslims under US Colonial Rule
A Centre Talk by
Dr. Karine V. Walther
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar
Abstract: When the United States annexed the Philippine Islands in 1898 after their victory over Spain during the Spanish-American War, they made over 300,000 Filipino Muslims— as well as over 6 million Catholics and 200,000 animists— American colonial subjects. Although Filipino Muslims, or Moros as they were called by the Spanish, and later, the Americans, constituted only a small percentage of the population, they controlled a third of the territory annexed by the United States in 1898. During their colonial governance of the Islands, the intellectual and spiritual roots driving American imperial rule over Filipino Muslims were entrenched in—and relied upon— orientalist tropes that cast Muslims as uncivilized or barbaric and, importantly, incapable of self-government. What was unique about this moment, however, was that contrary to previous American interactions with Muslims around the world, this marked the first time the United States would rule over Muslim subjects as part of its own empire. This talk will analyze how American colonial officials applied their perceptions of Islam to the governance of what they described as their new “Mohammedan wards” in the Philippines.
When: Friday, 11 December at 3.30
Where: Forum Seminar Room 5, University of Exeter, Streatham Campus
This talk is taken from her wider book study, Sacred Interests: The United States and the Islamic World, 1821-1921 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).