Cultural Identification and Adaptation of Muslim Minority: Evidence from Cambodia

Leb Manira, Prahastiwi Utari, Sri Hastjarjo


It is evident that, Indonesia is home to world’s Muslim majority with about 87.2% Sunni Muslim who can freely express and practice their faith with the attendant rituals. But this is not entirely the case about many countries like Cambodia where the Muslims are the minority. The purpose of this research is to identify the cultural identity of the Cambodian Muslim minority and study how they have been able to adapt co-existentially with their non-Muslim community. Cambodia is chosen for this research because of its religious importance in understanding the peculiarities of Muslim minority in Southeast Asia and how it can help in advancing better relations between Muslim minority and their non-Muslim neighbors elsewhere. This study uses purposive sampling and the data are analyzed qualitatively. The findings from this research show that the practice of Islam in Cambodia is becoming increasingly more open and expressive. The Cambodian Muslims now enjoy more religious rights than ever before like the rest of the population, although some challenges still remain especially as regards open practice of their faith in public places like schools, etc. This is the first research analyzing the cultural identification of Muslim people in Cambodia and their adaptation to their cultural environment. In fact, this research is expected to give an overview of the practice of Islam religion in Cambodia and to be used as reference for further study in the future. This study recommends tolerance and understanding among people of different cultural and religious backgrounds for peaceful coexistence and adaptation.


Cultural Identity; Adaptation; Cambodia; Muslims

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