Islamophobia and Islamic Politics: A Discussion About Southeast Asia

Islamophobia and Islamic Politics: A Discussion About Southeast Asia

Religion is both a covert and an overt force in politics, particularly in Southeast Asia where there are 240 million Muslims in the region. Unlike other driving forces, such as economics, it can be challenging for those outside the community to fully understand how sentiment within the local community is evolving and how those developments influence leaders and policymakers. Yet, appreciating the evolution of Islam in the region is key to gaining deeper insight on regional politics as a whole. A lack of understanding can also create blind spots: the terror attacks in Christchurch are a sober reminder that no country can afford to be complacent about violent extremism from all sides.

We will keep the discussion open and discuss a wide range of related topics, such as the prominence of religion in the upcoming Indonesian elections, how developments in Malaysia affect the domestic dialogue in Singapore, and the growth of political Islam in the region. Imran Taib, a keen political observer and inter-faith activist, will guide us through what we are confident will be a deep and incisive discussion.

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About Imran

Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib is an interfaith and multiculturalism expert and has delivered talks and conducted various related events in Singapore and the region. He is director of the Centre for Interfaith Understanding (CIFU). A graduate in philosophy, he writes regularly on issues of religion, society, and multiculturalism, and has commentaries published in Channel NewsAsia, The Straits Times, Today, Berita Harian, The Jakarta Post and South China Morning Post. He was chief editor of the regional Malay socio-religious journal Tafkir (2009), and has co-edited and published three books: Islam, Religion and Progress: Critical Perspectives (2006); Moral Vision and Social Critique: Selected Essays of Syed Hussein Alatas (2007); and Budi Kritik (2018).

Yishan Lam