Manifestations of islamisation

Bob Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


At the beginning of this chapter the author attempts to recreate what Malaysia was like prior to the Islamic Revival, namely that of a quite tolerant society with the three major ethnic groups, notwithstanding the historical tensions, generally interacting quite amicably, and with a relatively relaxed version of Islam being practiced by the Malays. He then goes on to describe how Malaysia has changed in the subsequent years. Key to the change is the increasing introduction of Islamic laws and regulations regarding what Muslims in Malaysia can and can’t do. He describes how this process of regulation has been largely taken over by the religious authorities within the civil service, who have so much power that the politicians are reluctant to interfere. Significantly, the government has demonstrated its commitment to enforcing these regulations, which the author illustrates with a number of examples. He then goes on to explain how these actions are changing society, with manifestations including an increasing separation of the ethnic groups, creeping “Arabisation”, and great pressure within the Malay community to conform to what are now considered Islamic norms. He also describes the creation of various activist groups that publicly espouse extreme interpretations of Islam, and vilify individuals or groups who speak up in opposition to what is happening.

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 pages34
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


Dive into the research topics of 'Manifestations of islamisation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this