Contemporary Urban Muslim Expressions in Southeast Asia: Identity, Discourse, and Socio-Religious Struggles


Single Panel


Session 5
Wed 09:00-10:30 REC A2.05


Save This Event

Add to Calendar


Show Paper Abstracts


This panel explores various urban Muslim expressions in Southeast Asia, with specific focuses on identity, discourse, and socio-religious struggles of Muslims in the region. The panel aims to unveil contemporary expressions in the forms of thought and practice that have become attached to everyday life of Muslims in the region. The panel could consist of panelists whose project schemes include research on, but not limited to, expressions of pilgrimage in Indonesia or Malaysia; the practice of prophetic medicine in Indonesia; piety and identity politics in Brunei Darussalam; youth and Islamism in Singapore; Muslim gated communities in Indonesia or Malaysia; or Muslim youth and pop culture in urban Thailand or the Philippines; and other urban Muslim expressions in Muslim-majority countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, or even non-Muslim countries in the region. This panel is expected to discuss topics that explore the contestation of Islamic ideologies, the fragmentation of the ummah, and the making of religious authority as the analytical and theoretical starting points. The panelists will examine a wide range of everyday experiences of urban Muslims. They will also reveal how urban Muslims’ identities and expressions impact local institutions, cultural practices, and religious imaginations via politics, spirituality, piety, and experience. This panel seeks to answer the following questions: What is the contestation of Islamic ideologies, the fragmentation of the ummah, and the making of religious authority in the contemporary landscape of Southeast Asian Islam all about? What factors guide the entanglement between them? How and why have notions of Islamic symbols and values been used in everyday life? By answering the above questions, this panel is also intended to respond to the broader topics: To what extent has these circumstances affected the developments and dynamics of Southeast Asia’s fledgling democracy? What can we learn from this to reflect the conceptions, practices, and crises of the global in the wider Muslim worlds? This panel presumes that the rise of more overt expressions of Islamic piety and cultural resilience after the Islamic revivalist period of the 1970s has shaped and characterized identity and religious politics of certain social groups and paved their way to involve in struggles for hegemony and power in, among other things, defining their own Islam. This panel will also view that the coexistence between the two sides needs to be seen in the context of an increasingly fragmented Southeast Asia’s democracy movement. This means that analyses of regional socio-political culture need to go beyond the older frames of centre-periphery upon which scholars have long relied