Towards a history of Malaysian ulama

Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This paper traces the religio-political role of ulama in Malaysia. Its key argument is that historically the ulama in Malaysia have maintained a symbiotic relationship with various political authorities. From early Islamic history to the Japanese occupation, ulama have usually worked with any power willing to secure their authority and influence. The paper also shows that even when the ulama oppose the government - exemplified by the opposition of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia ulama to the UMNO-led Malaysian government - this opposition tends to stem from differences in politics rather than religious ideologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-140
    JournalSouth East Asia Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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