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During the 1920's and 30's, the Dutch colonial government worked together with the Dutch-

owned shipping conglomerate Kongsi Tiga to control hajj maritime networks linking the
Netherlands East Indies and the Middle East. This was a period of increasing Dutch anxiety over
weakening imperial dominion in Southeast Asia and both the colonial administration and colonial
businesses feared Muslim religious networks would expose colonial subjects to anti-imperial
and pan-Islamic ideas while abroad. It was vital for Dutch shipping companies to maintain
segregated and highly policed spaces onboard to uphold Kongsi Tiga's monopoly over shipping
between the Netherlands East Indies and Jeddah and to counter threats to Dutch hegemony
more generally. Worried that "dangerous" passengers, such as Hadrami Arabs and Meccan
sheikhs, would influence the general "spirit" of Indonesian pilgrims onboard by encouraging anti-
colonial, nationalistic, and pan-Islamic sentiments, Kongsi Tiga systematically segregated
passengers along racial, ethnic, and class lines. Racial and religious categories also informed
Kongsi Tiga's reactions to indigenous shipping initiatives by Indonesian Muslims. Proposals put
forth by Muslim organizations such as Muhammidiyah, were swiftly undermined by the combined
forces of Dutch shipping companies and the colonial administration who worked together to
maintain a Dutch monopoly over hajjshipping, not only for financial profit, but to foster Dutch
control over transnationally mobile colonial subjects. This article reveals the unique and vital role
shipping companies played in expanding colonial politics, culture, and society across
transoceanic spaces and reconceptualizes our geographic understanding of empire as inhabiting
the overlooked oceanic spaces between metropole and colony.