By Joseph Chinyong Liow
Malaysia, domestic to a couple twenty million Muslims, is frequently held up as a version of a pro-Western Islamic country. the govt of Malaysia, looking for Western funding, does its top to perpetuate this view. yet this is not the entire tale. over the past a number of a long time, Joseph Liow exhibits, Malaysian politics has taken a robust flip towards Islamism. This publication deals a entire research of the transforming into function of Islam within the final region century of Malaysian politics. traditional knowledge recommend that the ruling UMNO celebration has moved towards Islamism to fend off demanding situations from the extra seriously Islamist competition celebration, PAS. Liow argues, in spite of the fact that, that UMNO has usually taken the lead in relocating towards Islamism, and that during truth PAS has frequently been compelled to react. the outcome, Liow argues, is a online game of "piety-trumping" that would be very tough to opposite, and that has dire results not just for the ethnic and non secular minorities of Malaysia, yet for his or her democratic procedure as an entire.
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Extra resources for Piety and Politics: Islamism in Contemporary Malaysia (Religion and Global Politics)
This may not necessarily be self-evident in contemporary Malaysia, where the vocabulary and praxis of mainstream political contestation has in fact become discernibly Islamic in character. In this manner, the (hypothetical) question of whether PAS might mitigate its Islamist agenda if it gains political power and leverage in Malaysia is complicated by the fact that the incumbent, UMNO, and the state over which it presides have already deﬁned the terms of engagement in Islamist fashion. In other words, PAS is entering and operating on a terrain that is already “Islamist” in many ways.
Chapter 1 looks at the genesis of the Islamist agenda in Malaysia from the perspective of both PAS and UMNO. Using the history of the Islamist opposition PAS and UMNO’s concomitant early responses to its rise as a lens through which to perceive the early tenor of Islamism in the Malaysian context, the chapter will demonstrate how the party underwent several metamorphoses as it evolved to locate Islamism at the heart of its social-political agenda. The second chapter investigates at closer analytical quarters the phenomenon of Islamization in Malaysia and the creation of institutions of Islamic governance by the UMNO-led Malaysian government, in a process that can aptly be described as the “bureaucratization” of Islam.
One thinks immediately of Mustafa Kemal Atarturk’s policy of sidelining and cracking down on Islamist opposition in Turkey, a legacy that arguably carried on to 1997 when the Turkish military launched a coup against the Welfare Party of Necmettin Erbakan; Sukarno’s clampdown on the modernist Islamists from the Masyumi Party in Indonesia in the 1950s, and Suharto’s marginalization of Islamist forces during the early New Order period; the heavy-handed approach of the Nasser administration toward its Islamist opposition in Egypt; and, more recently, the crackdown on the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria in the early 1990s.