Muslims as Minorities: History and Social Realities of Muslims in Singapore

Muslims As Minorities develops three ‘themes’ in the study of Muslims in Singapore: the rise in the importance of the place of Islam and an increasingly uneasy relationship between Muslims and the secular state; an ambiguity whereby the secular state is itself not quite what it seems, assuming a religious character while Muslim elites also draw on the secular state for authority; and a mutually reinforcing set of institutionalized disciplines operating to suppress challenges to the ascendant official views on Islam in Singapore.

Valuable new material on the relationship between Islamic religious elites and the state is provided in this book, complemented by a fairly original conceptualization of the elite power structure and composition in Singapore. The incorporation of popular films into the historical account of Muslim societies injects a greater sense of dynamism into the analysis of the 1950s and 1960s.

The authors provide an incisive analysis of the controversy over the tudung in Singapore, especially in the post-September 11 period, and highlight the different political and ideological techniques by which the Muslim identity and the madrasah in Singapore have been institutionalized and/or suppressed.