This paper sets out to examine the political impact of September 11, 2001, on South and Southeast Asia, focusing on three countries in particular: Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia. It argues that the events following the terrorist attacks on the United States of America gave the American government the pretext to once again extend its foreign policy outreach to key Muslim states all over Asia and to deploy the ambiguous trope of the 'war on terror' as a means to justify the direct and indirect intervention in the domestic political affairs of the countries concerned. However the paper also shows how the governments of these Muslim countries were willing and able to adopt and adapt themselves to the rhetoric of the 'war on terror' to suit their own domestic political agendas, chief among which was to marginalize and demonise the legitimate Islamist opposition movements within their own borders. This conjunction of interests between the American government and compradore Muslim regimes has helped to further sediment the fear of Islam and political Islamism in particular, thereby reproducing and perpetuating the logic of Islamophobia well beyond the borders of the Western world.


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