Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom

Given the generally subservient position of women in most Muslim societies, unsurprisingly it is barely known that there have been occasions when women have been rulers in their own right, and effective ones at... Read More...

Politics Drives an Islamic Agenda in Malaysia

When Malaysia’s Dewan Rakyat, or parliament reconvenes on July 24, its most controversial order of business is a measure that could send the country down the road towards an Islamic dictatorship, a bill that would allow for the imposition of shariah law in the... Read More...

Official Religious Orthodoxy Driving Malaysia to Extremes

Malaysia likes to present itself as a moderate Muslim state and it is fairly credited with cracking down on terrorism or individuals trying to join ISIS in Syria/Iraq or al-Qaeda related groups. Yet even some Islamic scholars are now accusing the government... Read More...
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Wahhabism in Southeast Asia

When I joined Malaysia’s foreign ministry in 1972, a major foreign policy concern in the region was that Southeast Asian nations would soon fall like dominoes to militant communism supported and abetted by the ... Read More...
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Muslim Leaders Must Police Their Own Religion

The recently concluded White House summit to counter violent extremism made much of  root causes like poverty, illiteracy and political alienation but missed an opportunity to address a more immediate and critical issue  – the culture of intolerance that has... Read More...
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The ISIS Threat in Indonesia

Indonesia, with the largest Muslim population in Asia, is one of the most vulnerable states in Southeast Asia to possible infiltration from members of the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS). Although... Read More...