Off on a tangent, today I stumbled on an official Saudi Arabian note about the “Hajj mission of Myanmar Federation led by Ali Habib Mohammed.” Anyone who has ever strolled around the average Burmese town will know that Muslims make up a fair proportion of the country’s urban population. Precisely how large that population has become is, like much else in Burma, a question of some dispute.
The same official Ministry of Hajj website has a report on the Saudi relief that was delivered to Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.
If you are intrigued by any of these matters, some further information on Burmese Muslims is available here (although the website seems a bit unstable). To my mind these links are all a healthy reminder about some of the things that go on that are rarely picked up by the international media, by Southeast Asian Studies scholarship, or by websites like New Mandala.
Readers interested in dredging up relevant content from the New Mandala archive will find that these two posts from September 2006 have some reflections on the interaction of Muslims with mainland Southeast Asia that may be helpful.