The State, Ulama and Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia

The State, Ulama and Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia

Norshahril Saat

Format: Print Book

ISBN: 9789814818834

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In response to the Islamic resurgence of the 1970s and beyond, the Suharto (1966–1998) and Mahathir (1981–2003) governments undertook massive Islamisation programmes in Indonesia and Malaysia respectively. This included co-opting influential religious scholars into state-sponsored institutions. In 1975, Suharto formed the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI); while in the 1980s, Mahathir upgraded the Malaysian National Fatwa Council (JKFMKI), JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) and IKIM (Malaysian Institute for Islamic Understanding). The ‘official’ ulamas — the religious scholars who participated in these institutions — were expected to support the states’ ideologies in exchange for reward and recognition. The State, Ulama and Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia examines the extent to which official ulamas in contemporary Indonesia and Malaysia capitalised on their co-optation to ‘capture’ the states. By capture, a concept popularized in political economy, the author refers to societal actors’ ability to influence laws, policies, and the distribution of resources in their favour. The book examines how policies undertaken by Suharto (1966–1998) and Mahathir (1981–2003) determine capture successes and failures of official ulama in their respective countries.

Format: PB

Number of Pages: 254

Publication Date: 24/08/2018

Imprint: Amsterdam University Press / ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute


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