Public Discussion “Religion and Society in Southeast Asia”, 22 June 2016, ISAIS-UIN Sunan Kalijaga


It is commonly held that European colonization and the efforts to modernize Muslim lands challenged Islam and undermined local custom, and that Islamization was generally opposed to European ideas and technologies and rejected local beliefs and practices. While colonial historiographies tend to focus on the influence of European actors, Muslim nationalist and postcolonial scholars emphasize Muslim and native agencies. In the Netherlands East Indies and British Malaya, however, the ideas and actions associated with the concept of modernity were formed as an outcome of the interplay between Islamic reform and European colonialism. In this discussion, the speaker will offer a comparative and cross-cultural history of Islamic reform and European colonialism as both dependent and independent factors in shaping the multiple ways of becoming modern in Indonesia and Malaya during the first half of the twentieth century. In formulating and advancing their respective projects of organizational, political, legal, and educational reform, Muslim reformers and European colonial scholars and administrators often differed, but they were not always antagonistic. They sometimes worked in tandem in order to achieve common ends. The colonialists did not necessarily oppose Islam and local customs, and Islamic reformers did not always resist Western colonial rule and the processes of modernization and localization.


AIFIS in cooperation with Institute of Southeast Asian Islam (ISAIs) UIN Sunan Kaliaja will conduct this event on:

Date      : Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Time      : 15.30 – 17.30 WIB

Venue     : ISAIS Discussion Room, UIN Sunan Kalijaga

Jl. Adisucipto, Yogyakarta



Muhamad Ali, Ph.D was educated in a modern pesantren in West Java before attending the State Islamic Institute, Jakarta, specializing in the tafsir and hadits sub-disciplines. He took a MM-CAAE a join program of management by University Grenoble Paris and the University of Indonesia, Jakarta, before he did a M.Sc. in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Edinburgh University and then a Ph.D. in History in University of Hawaii, USA. Now, he is an Associate Professor at University of California, Riverside, USA. His areas of specializationis Islam in Southeast Asia; Qur’anic exegesis; Comparative Muslim societies; Transmission of Islamic Knowledge; Religious pluralism; Islamic movements and politics.


Kimura Toshiaki, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of the Department of Religious Studies at Tohuku University, Sendai, Japan. He got his M.A. and Ph.D. from Tohuku University. His research has been focused on Indonesian society and religion, and has conducted his field work in Medan, capital city of North Sumatra povince since 1995. While at the Harvard-Yenching Institute as a visiting scholar, he conducted a research project entitled “Religion, Identity and the Image of the others in a Souteast Asian Metropolitan City.

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