Archive for June, 2008

Religion and the Social Contract: Can Religion be reconciled with Civil Society?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Modern nation-states are, for all intents and purposes, artificial entities that are the product of consensus and rational agency. Practically every modern nation-state in the world today traces its history to some founding moment and a founding document that lays down the terms of the social contract that brought together a disparate community of individuals [...]

Questions for Malaysia, an Islamic State

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

This is an experimental[1] feature that I’m trying out for the site — enabling comments. Since the site was first started, Farish was insistent that The Other Malaysia is an information website, and not a blog. As such, I disabled any comments feature on the site, putting forth a more traditional approach towards building a [...]

PAS, Don’t fall for UMNO’s Trap!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Civil society, and the actors who occupy that public domain, exists for a number of reasons and one of the reasons is to keep all politicians and political parties in check. It would appear that the work of civil society actors in Malaysia today has been cut out thanks to the [...]

Islam Hadari and the Politics of Banning

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

There are ideas, and there can be stupid ideas; but to ban an idea simply because of its stupidity seems to be a rather stupid thing to do in itself.
Among the ideas that circulate in the congested bowels of Malaysia’s public domain is the somewhat nebulous idea of ‘Islam Hadari’; [...]

The Business of Dialogue

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Dialogue is a funny business, particularly when it happens to be dialogue of the inter-civilisational and inter-religious kind. Having just attended yet another Dialogue between Islam and the West in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I find myself compelled to pen these thoughts before my blood pressure rises any further and I risk doing serious damage to [...]

Indonesia’s Battle for Religious Pluralism Continues

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Over the past months Indonesia has witnessed, once again, mass demonstrations and mobilisation on its streets. Throughout the month of May, the campuses of the country spilled open and large demonstrations were organised in almost every major city across the Indonesian archipelago to raise awareness about the rising costs of living and in particular the [...]