Piety and Politics: Islamism in Contemporary Malaysia

Hardcover | July 4, 2009

byJoseph Chiyong Liow

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Malaysia, home to some twenty million Muslims, is often held up as a model of a pro-Western Islamic nation. The government of Malaysia, in search of Western investment, does its best to perpetuate this view. But this isn't the whole story. Over the last several decades, Joseph Liow shows,Malaysian politics has taken a strong turn toward Islamism. This book offers a comprehensive analysis of the growing role of Islam in the last quarter century of Malaysian politics. Conventional wisdom suggest that the ruling UMNO party has moved toward Islamism to fend off challenges from the moreheavily Islamist opposition party, PAS. Liow argues, however, that UMNO has often taken the lead in moving toward Islamism, and that in fact PAS has often been forced to react. The result, Liow argues, is a game of "piety-trumping" that will be very difficult to reverse, and that has direconsequences not only for the ethnic and religious minorities of Malaysia, but for their democratic system as a whole.

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Malaysia, home to some twenty million Muslims, is often held up as a model of a pro-Western Islamic nation. The government of Malaysia, in search of Western investment, does its best to perpetuate this view. But this isn't the whole story. Over the last several decades, Joseph Liow shows,Malaysian politics has taken a strong turn towar...

Josepeh Chyinyong Liow is Associate Professor at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:July 4, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195377087

ISBN - 13:9780195377088

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsTable of ContentsAbbreviationsIntroduction1. Genesis of an Islamist Agenda2. The Malaysian State and the Bureaucratization of Islam3. Reconstructing and Reinforcing Islamism4. "Popular" Political Islam: Representations and Discourses5. "Securing" Islam in a Time of TurbulenceConclusionEpilogueNotesGlossarySelected BibliographyIndex