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The Pillars of "Mahathir's Islam": Mahathir Mohamad on Being-Muslim in the Modern World

Unlike his bourgeois economic nationalism or diplomatic posturing on behalf of the developing world, Mahathir Mohamad's encounter with Islam remains a largely understudied aspect of his 22-year rule of Malaysia (1981-2003). There is a marked reluctance to take seriously his pronouncements on Islam a... Full description

Journal Title: Asian Studies Review Sep 2011, Vol.35(3), pp.355-VI
Main Author: Schottmann, Sven
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 10357823 ; E-ISSN: 14678403 ; DOI: 10.1080/10357823.2011.602663
Link: http://search.proquest.com/docview/895867219/?pq-origsite=primo
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title: The Pillars of "Mahathir's Islam": Mahathir Mohamad on Being-Muslim in the Modern World
format: Article
creator:
  • Schottmann, Sven
subjects:
  • Malaysia
  • Mohammad, Mahathir
  • Islam
  • Prime Ministers
  • Religion & Politics
ispartof: Asian Studies Review, Sep 2011, Vol.35(3), pp.355-VI
description: Unlike his bourgeois economic nationalism or diplomatic posturing on behalf of the developing world, Mahathir Mohamad's encounter with Islam remains a largely understudied aspect of his 22-year rule of Malaysia (1981-2003). There is a marked reluctance to take seriously his pronouncements on Islam and engage with his representations of what being-Muslim should entail in the modern world. This essay takes the view that Islam, in fact, represents a significant component of the former Malaysian prime minister's political repertoire, and that an analysis of what may be described as "Mahathir's Islam" can provide a compelling alternative account of his momentous premiership. It argues that while Mahathir's engagement with Islam was fraught with contradictions and has produced a number of negative consequences that affect Malaysian society as a whole, his discourse also contained the ingrethents of what Bellah and Hammond (1980) have famously described as civil religion. Mahathir's public representations of Islam - in particular, his championing of the individually responsible believer and interpretation of the message to the Prophet Muhammad as a this-worldly and pro-active "theology of progress" - can thus provide religious validation to the cosmopolitanism of the street that has helped underwrite the social peace of multi-religious Malaysia. [PUBLICATION ]
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 10357823 ; E-ISSN: 14678403 ; DOI: 10.1080/10357823.2011.602663
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 10357823
  • 1035-7823
  • 14678403
  • 1467-8403
url: Link


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descriptionUnlike his bourgeois economic nationalism or diplomatic posturing on behalf of the developing world, Mahathir Mohamad's encounter with Islam remains a largely understudied aspect of his 22-year rule of Malaysia (1981-2003). There is a marked reluctance to take seriously his pronouncements on Islam and engage with his representations of what being-Muslim should entail in the modern world. This essay takes the view that Islam, in fact, represents a significant component of the former Malaysian prime minister's political repertoire, and that an analysis of what may be described as "Mahathir's Islam" can provide a compelling alternative account of his momentous premiership. It argues that while Mahathir's engagement with Islam was fraught with contradictions and has produced a number of negative consequences that affect Malaysian society as a whole, his discourse also contained the ingrethents of what Bellah and Hammond (1980) have famously described as civil religion. Mahathir's public representations of Islam - in particular, his championing of the individually responsible believer and interpretation of the message to the Prophet Muhammad as a this-worldly and pro-active "theology of progress" - can thus provide religious validation to the cosmopolitanism of the street that has helped underwrite the social peace of multi-religious Malaysia. [PUBLICATION ]
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abstractUnlike his bourgeois economic nationalism or diplomatic posturing on behalf of the developing world, Mahathir Mohamad's encounter with Islam remains a largely understudied aspect of his 22-year rule of Malaysia (1981-2003). There is a marked reluctance to take seriously his pronouncements on Islam and engage with his representations of what being-Muslim should entail in the modern world. This essay takes the view that Islam, in fact, represents a significant component of the former Malaysian prime minister's political repertoire, and that an analysis of what may be described as "Mahathir's Islam" can provide a compelling alternative account of his momentous premiership. It argues that while Mahathir's engagement with Islam was fraught with contradictions and has produced a number of negative consequences that affect Malaysian society as a whole, his discourse also contained the ingrethents of what Bellah and Hammond (1980) have famously described as civil religion. Mahathir's public representations of Islam - in particular, his championing of the individually responsible believer and interpretation of the message to the Prophet Muhammad as a this-worldly and pro-active "theology of progress" - can thus provide religious validation to the cosmopolitanism of the street that has helped underwrite the social peace of multi-religious Malaysia. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
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pubTaylor & Francis Ltd.
doi10.1080/10357823.2011.602663
urlhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/895867219/
date2011-09-01