Archive for October, 2006

Malaysia A Police State? Is Mahathir Serious?

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Political scientists have to play the role of politician-watchers, observing the behavioural norms of this strange breed of creatures who bear an uncanny resemblance to the more numerous species of homo sapiens, but who nonetheless have characteristics and capabilities unique to themselves. Many of us make the mistake of thinking that politicians are like ordinary [...]

Death Threats in France: Idiocy in the Land of Voltaire

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

It seems as if this is going to be a bumper harvest year for fatwas and death threats. 2006 kicked off with the Danish ‘Muhammad cartoon controversy’ that led to a series of explosive and spectacular demonstrations the world over; though at the time many wondered how and why so many Muslim movements could spend [...]

Between “Liberal Islam” and “Liberation Islam”

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

Between ‘Liberal Islam’ and ‘Liberation Islam’: Farid Esack on the need for Prophetic Mission
Prof Farid Esack is no stranger to scholars of contemporary Islam: Based at the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge and author of ‘The Quran, Liberation and Pluralism’, he is known to many as one of the most ardent and consistent spokesmen for [...]

012: A Muslim-Hindu Buddy Story

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

A Muslim-Hindu Buddy Story: Raja Shah Mardan and Berahman in the Hikayat Indera Jaya
Living as we do at a time when Malaysia’s Malay-Muslim population seems to be engaged in a deliberate erasure of their pre-Islamic past, it pays to go to the bookshops and pick up the odd Hikayat (epic) or [...]

The Difficult Path of ‘Progressive’ Islam Today

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

The question of how ‘progressive’ Ideas can be transmitted to Muslim societies today is a thorny one, as it raises many other related questions regarding the power relations both between the Western and Muslim worlds as well as the power relations within the Muslim world itself. At a time when Muslims the world over feel [...]

011: That “Endangered Species” otherwise known as the Malays

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

“The existence of the disabled native is required for the next lie and the next and the next…”
Homi K. Bhabha, ‘Articulating the Archaic: Cultural Difference and Colonial Nonsense’
Ho hum… There we were, all ready to celebrate the end of the old and the coming of the new. Even [...]

010: The Indecent Thing About Decency Campaigns

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

‘Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion of mankind, after nature has long since discharged them from external direction, nevertheless remains under lifelong tutelage, and why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians.’
(Immanuel Kant, What is Enlightenment?)
‘First World [...]