The hype about the potential for terrorism in Melanesia due to the region's weak and failing states has obscured some of the less newsworthy but equally important developments. One of these is the slow but steady growth in the popularity of Islam in Melanesia. This article reviews the limited literature on terrorism in the Pacific. It provides a brief historical overview of the growth of Islam in Melanesia on a country-by-country basis, and draws on a comparative case study and theories of culture and public goods to explore possible reasons for Islam's appeal. It argues that although Islam is likely to continue to grow, its growth is neither a necessary or sufficient basis for declaring terrorist threats to exist. The article emphasises the need to analyse the broader social factors behind Islam's growth as a basis for understanding the conditions through which potential threats to regional security might develop.
|Journal||Australian Journal of International Affairs|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|