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Most Muslims in Southeast Asia also believe in spirits (known by the Arabic-origin word jinn, which is the source of the English-language term “genie”), though at present they are less inclined than Buddhists to seek out their assistance through offerings or sacrifices.
Groups living in highland areas tend to follow religions involving animistic beliefs and practices, which are based on the idea that spiritual or supernatural powers organize and animate the natural world or material universe.
In animistic traditions, plants, animals, and other natural phenomena (mountains, streams, etc.) are assumed to have souls or to be inhabited by spirits.
In most instances, however, their beliefs and practices incorporate animist and/or other traditions as well and are, thus, examples of syncretic religions (religions that incorporate beliefs and practices from two or more distinct traditions).
The doctrines of World Religions are more formal, more systematic, more abstract, and “better able to travel” in the sense that, unlike their animistic counterparts, they are not tied to particular locales.
Mahatma Gandhi laid great emphasis on Hindu-Muslim unity.
Communalism had raised its ugly head in Indian politics.
Shamans are ritual specialists, this being an umbrella term that refers to people who specialize in ritual practices of one sort or another and thus includes spirit mediums (like Raseh, from the village of Mentu Tapuh in Sarawak, East Malaysia, who recounts the epic poem, “The Story of Kichapi”), diviners, magicians, sorcerers, witches, and priests.
In contrast to their up-country brethren, people living in lowland areas, where the vast majority of Southeast Asians reside, tend to adhere to one or another of the World Religions (also known as Universal or Great Religions) such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, or Christianity.
He made a vibrant appeal for Hindu-Muslim unity, restoration of mosques converted into temples, and the payment of Rupees 55 crore which was due to Pakistan by way of division of assets.
All this infuriated the orthodox and narrow-minded Hindus and Gandhi was short dead by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic on 30th January, 1948.