By emphasizing that--after the foundation of his mosque in Oudong--"[a]ll the Chams, particularly those who lived near Oudong, and at Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, and Battambang provinces have respected San ever since," (60) it presents Imam San as a saint accepted as such by all Cambodian Muslims, but at the same time maps out the geography of KIS at that time.
This goal required tangible resources, such as the preservation of a distinct script and literary heritage, and the appropriation of a historical figure, taken by the court as epitomizing the historically amicable relationship between Khmers and Chams.
This is particularly striking, as the Muslims of Kampot, who are in their majority Khmer-speaking Chvea and not Chams, would hardly have appeared likely candidates for an alliance with a group claiming to be "pure Chams" (cam sot).
In Vietnam's Mekong Delta and Tay Ninh regions, where a number of manuscripts of Cham Jawi renderings of earlier Cham script texts are still preserved, and the teaching of Cham Jawi has been (optionally) pursued in public schooling with approval from the Vietnamese Ministry of Education since the late 1990s, many Chams nowadays reportedly refuse to recognize Cham script, and claim Jawi as their original script instead.
7) This surely intrigues the ethnographer, because such dualism is, today, often highlighted by some Chams in Cambodia as the key to understanding the calendar of annual festivities--the avail akhat-ahir cycle, (8) feminine/masculine, after/before, beginning/end, interior/exterior.
What it points out to is that beyond the mise en scene of "Cham Islam", what rendered Imam San so popular was his enabling of the (re)connection between Chams and Khmers, the end of the separation, the return to the inseparability.
It is all about this location, this piece of land offered by the king through Imam San to generations of Chams, generations of Chams who will offer the king cakes, trees, eggs through the Imam San.
Jean Moura even sees in him a "Malay"--something not surprising if we think how much the Protectorate used to confuse Chams and Malays, by the lot.
Dun Lee Han, who had been a schoolteacher in Kompong Cham, was invited by the Cham community to come to the remote province and educate the Cham children.
Ramadan would be ending the next day, and all of the provinces 425 Cham families were expected at a grand celebration, which would be held at the building site.
Historically, the Cham had their own writing system.
This means that a Cham Muslim student in Cambodia would be able to speak or read at least four languages: Arabic, Cham, Khmer, and Malay.
Besides groups of the same ethnicity in the nearby Central Highlands, the Chams also engaged other Malayo-Polynesian groups further afield in Southeast Asia.
The Vietnamese kingdom, then known as Dai Viet, invaded the Chams (Wade 2003) in 1471 A.
At this point, it will be interesting to propose that the Chams were able successfully to participate in the cultural and social dynamics in societies not of their own because they had primordial ties with the Malays of such countries, e.