Impact on non-Muslims

Bob Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses how the Islamic Revival has affected the non-Muslims in Malaysia. To provide a context, a brief exploration is first made of how historically non-Muslims have been treated in other Muslim-majority countries (as in the previous chapter, the focus is on the Middle-East), followed by an examination of how non-Muslims were treated in Malaysia before the Islamisation Phenomenon. Next is a study of the key areas which have been affected, namely religious freedom, inter-ethnic relations, and the rise of the Ketuanan Melayu movement, referencing material and comment from public intellectuals. The chapter concludes with a sample of feedback from the non-Muslim participants in the research programme on these three key issues, and three others that were felt by some of them to be important, namely: concern about “extreme Islam”, the economic fallout from Islamisation, and concern that their Malay friends were being pressured into going along with Islamisation. While some feedback from this group was provided earlier in Chapter 6, it was focussed more on concerns about the trajectory of Islamisation and where it is leading. Here it is both more detailed and focussed on the impact of Islamisation on the relationship between this group and the Malays. While there is also a little overlap with earlier descriptions of Malaysia’s history pre-Islamisation, and of the Ketuanan Melayu phenomenon, the emphasis here is on the relationship between the Malays, and the non-Malays, particularly the Chinese.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIslamic Revivalism and Politics in Malaysia
Subtitle of host publicationProblems in Nation Building
EditorsBob Olivier
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-15-0882-0
ISBN (Print)978-981-15-0881-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCritical Studies of the Asia-Pacific
ISSN (Print)2662-222X
ISSN (Electronic)2662-2238


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