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Title: The ulama, the state, and politics in Malaysia
Authors: Abdullah, Walid Jumblatt
Keywords: Social sciences::Political science
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Abdullah, W. J. (2021). The ulama, the state, and politics in Malaysia. Critical Asian Studies, 53(4), 499-516.
Journal: Critical Asian Studies 
Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the state and Islam in Malaysia under the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) regime, focusing on the role of the ulama (Islamic religious scholars). Interactions between the ulama and the state redefine, or have the potential to do so, the contours of both the state and Islam. Drawing upon the concept of political opportunities, the paper argues that the more liberating the political opportunities are for the ulama, the more the state has to acquiesce to their demands, and thus, the ulama’s understandings of Islam. In Malaysia, wide political opportunity structures enable the ulama to drive rising conservatism, both with regard to the state and Malaysian society. The process of defining Islam is not static, as the case of Malaysia demonstrates, since the ulama adjust the definitions of Islamic concepts based on socio-political conditions. This study is situated within the literature on state-society relations, and Islam in politics.
ISSN: 1467-2715
DOI: 10.1080/14672715.2021.1960576
Schools: School of Social Sciences 
Rights: © 2021 BCAS, Inc. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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