Overall reaction to the Islamisation Phenomenon

Bob Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


While public discussion about the Islamisation Phenomenon is quite limited, there are a few public critics, and this chapter provides a sample of the comments they have made in the mainstream media. It then discusses the data gathered through in-depth interviews with a sample of 100 professionals on their overall response to the Islamisation Phenomenon, first providing a summary assessment of the response of this group, and then focussing on the detailed feedback from the majority-Malay population.The key findings are that:88% of all participants disapprove of what is happening in the Islamisation space.82% of the Malay (Muslim) participants disapprove.Of the 18% of the Malays who approved, 75% did so with qualifications.Within the Malay participants, 85% of males disapprove, and 77% of females disapprove. The minority that approve are evenly distributed between males and females.100% of the non-Muslim participants disapprove.Key themes from the discussions with the Malays were: Intrusion by the government; intolerance within the Malay community; the politicization of Islam; and Arabisation. Key themes from the discussions with non-Muslims were: concern for the future for their children; separation of the races; erosion of religious freedoms; concern that Malaysia would end up like a Middle East country; concern about the economy if Malaysia became too conservatively Islamic; and concern that moderate Malays were pressured towards conservatism. The chapter concludes with feedback on the impact of the Islamisation Phenomenon on public education, a very significant issue about which almost all participants felt strongly.

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 pages31
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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