Islam in the Netherlands East Indies
Until the arrival of the Europeans, sea traffic to the Indies was merely coastal. Sailing ships went from port to port along the coasts. As the Strait of Malacca was, of old, the gateway to the Indonesian Archipelago, it is no wonder that Islam was introduced first in the settlements along the coast of this Strait.In all probability, Moslem merchants from Hindustan, especially from Gujarat, brought Islam to the Indonesian Archipelago. They arrived in the same way and by the same means as their ancestors who brought Hindu civilization twelve centuries earlier. Islam was introduced by merchants and not by conquering Arab legions, or even by missionaries.