School of Social Sciences

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Postgraduate students research a broad range of topics across the School disciplines.

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Bob Olivier

Phone: (+61 8) 9368 0858

Start date

Feb 2011

Submission date

Feb 2018

Bob Olivier


Islamisation in Malaysia: The Response of the Professional Classes


This project addresses the process of Islamisation in Malaysia, and analyses the reasons for the apparent acceptance/support of the process by the professional classes in the country. Despite the fact that it is bringing about significant changes in Malay society, and is also beginning to impact on the lives of the non-Malays (i.e. the Chinese, about 30% of the population, and the Indians, about 8%, the majority of whom are non-Muslim), there is an almost complete absence of public debate on the issue. The research would use qualitative interviews to gain an understanding of the feelings/views of an important subset of the overall population, the professional classes, to assess if they are in agreement with the Islamisation process, both in its extent, and the form it is taking – if not, then why are they remaining silent.

Why my research is important

The Islamisation phenomenon that has been occurring around the world in recent decades has had enormous impact on Muslim communities, whether they are in Muslim-majority countries, or as immigrant communities in host countries such as in Europe, the US, Australia, etc. It has also had an indirect impact on the non-Muslim communities of the above-mentioned countries. Both types of impact have not always been positive, and suggests that there is a great amount of work required to bring about a greater understanding of the phenomenon, in order to improve relationships both within Muslim communities, and between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. This project is aimed at contributing to a greater understanding of the forces at work in the global Islamisation phenomenon, and how people “on the ground” feel about it.


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