Islamist Conservatism and the Demise of Islam Hadhari in Malaysia

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, Muhamad Takiyuddin Ismail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article argues that Islam Hadhari, as a model for development officially inaugurated during the administration of Malaysia's fifth Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (2003-9), encountered failure. Its lack of success was significantly due to the rise of Islamist conservatives, who deliberately interpreted Islam Hadhari as a political instrument to impose Islamization from above in a manner not conducive to living in a spirit of peaceful coexistence in a multi-ethnic society. While on the one hand it promoted an Islam that cherishes the values of inclusivity, moderation and inter-religious tolerance, on the other hand Islam Hadhari unfortunately triggered defensive responses from Islamist conservatives. This ad hoc conservative alliance comprised religious leaders associated with the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), state religious functionaries, scholars affiliated to the opposition Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS: Parti Islam SeMalaysia) and Islamist non-governmental organizations. The rise of this Islamist conservatism aggravated ethno-religious relations during Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's premiership, leading to the setbacks experienced by his government in the general elections of 2008. By then, the death knell had been sounded for Islam Hadhari. It was steadily consigned to the graveyard of history by the administration of Najib Razak, who took over from Abdullah in April 2009.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-180
Number of pages22
JournalIslam and Christian-Muslim Relations
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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conservatism
Islam
Malaysia
political instrument
peaceful coexistence
functionary
Islamization
minister
tolerance
Demise
Islamists
Conservatism
opposition
election
leader
death
organization
lack
history
Values

Keywords

  • Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
  • conservatism
  • Islam Hadhari
  • Islamism
  • Malaysia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Religious studies

Cite this

Islamist Conservatism and the Demise of Islam Hadhari in Malaysia. / Fauzi Abdul Hamid, Ahmad; Ismail, Muhamad Takiyuddin.

In: Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. 25, No. 2, 04.2014, p. 159-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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