Muslims in Singapore, Multiculturalism and clapping hands

On the 14-16 July 2010, MUIS (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore), in collaboration with Oxford University, University of Melbourne and the Department of Malay Studies at National University of Singapore, has organized the International Conference on Muslims in Multicultural Societies. According to the main organizer, the conference was aimed to profile Singapore’s best practices in... Continue Reading →

“Islam is evil”. “No! Islam is peace”: The fallacy of the ‘scripturegnosis’ argument

The debate, despite enlightenment and modernization, remains the same as that which Dante advocated in the Divine Comedy: is Islam evil or a religion of peace? On one side of the argument, and siding with Dante, is Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician and self-declared ‘Islamophobe’ in the real meaning of the word (fearing Islam as... Continue Reading →

The “Allah” case in Malaysia

   Recently Malaysia has been at the centre of another controversy. After the fatwa against Yoga (in which it was suggested that Muslims were better to abstain from it), the sentence against Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (who was condemned to strokes of an "Islamic" cane), and the severed cow heads left on an area awaiting the construction of a... Continue Reading →

Civilization in action? The Camden affair in OZ

  Opening prayer rooms, mosques, Muslim schools, or even kebab shops is becoming an issue of 'values', and I am not referring here to economic ones. The values are often referred to as  'western values' and they appear to come in various shapes and colors (Italian, Australian, American, British and so on).  Yet all have at least one similarity... Continue Reading →

Understanding Muslim Identity, Rethinking Fundamentalism

I am pleased to inform my friends and readers that my latest book Understanding Muslim Identity Rethinking Fundamentalism, is finally on the bookshelf of (more or less virtual) book shops. Another book on Islamic fundamentalism?’ I can hear the question echoing among friends, colleagues and readers. Since 2001, more than 100 books and 5,600 articles have been published on Islamic fundamentalism.... Continue Reading →

Malaysian Muslim? Sorry, no yoga for you!

Yesterday the Malaysian National Fatwa Council has issued another of its many fatwas, which have seen an increase in numbers during this time of political turmoil. "Yoga is forbidden for Muslims. The practice will erode their faith in the religion," said Abdul Shukor Husin, the council's chairman.This time the target was one of the most... Continue Reading →

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