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Encountering Islam

The Politics of Religious Identities in Southeast Asia

Hui Yew-Foong

Publication Year: 2012

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute


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p. 1-1


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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This volume is based, partly, on proceedings of an international conference on “Religion in Southeast Asian Politics: Resistance, Negotiation and Transcendence”, held on 11–12 December 2008 at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, and grateful acknowledgement is due to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung ...


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pp. ix-x

Part I: Introduction

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pp. 1-2

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1. Introduction - Encountering Islam

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pp. 3-14

This volume evolved out of a conference with the theme “Religion in Southeast Asian Politics: Resistance, Negotiation and Transcendence”, held on 11–12 December 2008. Part of the proceedings of the conference has been published in a Special Focus Issue of Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia (April 2010), ...

Part II: Islam across Borders

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pp. 15-16

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2. Religious Elites and the State in Indonesia and Elsewhere: Why Take-overs are so Difficult and Usually Don't Work

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pp. 17-46

This chapter argues that Iqbal was correct to identify two major kinds of elites — the “men of prayer” and “the politicians” — but that a scholarly rather than poetic consideration leads to the conclusion that “men of prayer” find it very difficult to be “in charge”. Rather, state-controlling elites — “the politicians” ...

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3. "I Was the Guest of Allah": Modern Hajj Memoirs from Southeast Asia

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pp. 47-65

One of the more important ways that accounts of the hajj have been transmitted is through memoirs — the conscious act of people setting down their memories to pen and paper, in order to have these memories preserved as a record of their journeys. Few experiences, in fact, have been deemed more worthy ...

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4. The Aurad Muhammadiah Congregation: Modern Transnational Sufism in Southeast Asia

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pp. 66-100

The rising profile of Southeast Asia as a prosperously developing and yet passionately Islamic region necessitates a study of the dynamic interaction between its domestic political imperatives and transnational variables. While transnational factors in themselves may be insufficient to explain the shifting contours ...

Part III: Malaysia

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pp. 101-102

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5. Legal-Bureaucratic Islam in Malaysia: Homogenizing and Ring-fencing the Muslim Subject

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pp. 103-132

In Malaysia, the contestation over what was to be the correct and authoritative Islam came to an end sometime in the mid-1990s. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the ruling Malay party, had battled the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam SeMalaysia, PAS), its rival Malay-Muslim party, ...

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6. The Letter of the Law and the Reckoning of Justice Among Tamils in Malaysia

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pp. 133-157

The transformation of land usage in Malaysia has been inextricably linked to a politicizing of Islam and Malay rights. In short, the development of the prime industrial and, hence, subsequent residential heartlands of this nation have taken on an ethno-nationalistic urgency, given the politics of identity within this nation. ...

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7. Islamization and Ethnicity in Sabah, Malaysia

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pp. 158-188

The normative foundation of the secular state as the separation of religion and the state embodied in much liberal theorizing is becoming untenable in most developing countries. Such perspectives on the ideas of the secular state, it is suggested, underestimate the complexity of the relationship between the religious and the political ...

Part IV: Indonesia

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pp. 189-190

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8. Natsir & Sukarno: Their Clash over Nationalism, Religion and Democracy, 1928-1958

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pp. 191-217

In the closing months of 2008, as Indonesia prepared to hold its third national elections since the downfall of the Soeharto regime, a continuing point of controversy was the growing strength of religion in the country’s political life. Discussion of this issue became more heated with the passing of the pornography bill on the national scene ...

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9. Religious Freedom in Contemporary Indonesia: The Case of the Ahmadiyah

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pp. 218-246

This chapter explains the controversy over the legal status of the Islamic Ahmadiyah sect, put into the larger context of the question over religious freedom and tolerance in today’s Indonesia. It covers the disproportional influence of Islamist civil society groups on the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono government and the government’s intervention ...

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10. Religion and the Politics of Morality: Muslim Women Activists and the Pornography Debate in Indonesia

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pp. 247-268

In late 2008, Indonesia’s parliament passed a law against pornography. The debate was short, because the bill had already been thoroughly discussed and revised in committees and a majority of legislators had agreed to support it. Prior to the vote, however, nearly a hundred legislators opposed to the bill stormed out of parliament in protest. ...

Part V: Muslim Minorities

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pp. 269-270

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11. Malay Muslims and the Thai-Buddhist State: Confrontation, Accommodation and Disengagement

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pp. 271-312

The Malay Muslims in the deep south of Thailand have a long history of asserting their identity against the assimilating force of a dominant Buddhist worldview. Buddhist Siam and its successor, Thailand, have had significant success in assimilating the wide variety of ethnic groups within its borders, including the Chinese, Lao, Khmer and others, into a form of national Thai identity. ...

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12. Identifying with Fiction: The Art and Politics of Short Story Writing by Muslims in the Philippines

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pp. 313-334

The short story in the Philippines has proven to be an exceptionally popular genre. Awards offered by magazines and other literary outlets are sought after and in traditional media, literary magazines, college publications as well as on Internet sites the prospect of publishing a short story continues to hold great appeal for writers and aspiring authors. ...

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13. Issues of Islam and the Muslims in Singapore Post-9/11: An Analysis of the Dominant Perspective

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pp. 335-376

The 11 September attack, the Bali bombings, and arrest of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) operatives in Singapore reveal once again the centrality of ethnicity in Singapore’s ideology of survival. Political discourse on these issues resurfaced concerns for the fragility of Singapore’s ethnic relations and its vulnerability ...


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pp. 377-401

E-ISBN-13: 9789814379939
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814379922

Publication Year: 2012