From empire to the War on Terror : the 1915 Indian Sepoy Mutiny in Singapore as a case study of the impact of profiling of religious and ethnic minorities
Farish A. Noor
Date of Issue2010
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This paper looks at some of the unintended consequences of religious and ethnic profiling of minorities that took place during the colonial era, and which in 1915 lead to a mutiny by Indian Sepoys then stationed in Singapore. The 1915 mutiny later complicated inter-ethnic relations in the colony, and may have been one of the factors that contributed to the mobilization of Indian Muslims against British rule in Asia later. Today, the dynamics of the global “War on Terror” bears uncanny resemblances to the Indian Sepoy Mutiny in Singapore in 1915. Both reflect the dynamics of oppositional dialectics and the impact of racial-religious profiling on the identity of Muslims across the globe. They incur the politics of “othering” Muslims, which require them to choose between loyalty to their nation/state/empire and their ethnoreligious community. A side effect is the sharpening of boundaries between the Western and Muslim worlds.
RSIS Working Paper ; 206/10