Events – Lecture

Pop-Islamist Youth Politics in Malaysia: Rethinking ‘Instruments of the Devil’

Vortrag von Dominik Müller (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology) im Rahmen des ZMO-Kolloquiums am 30. November 2017, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin.

  • Date: 30.11.2017 – 30.11.2017
  • Institution: Zentrum Moderner Orient
  • Location: Berlin / Deutschland
    • Lecture by Dominik Müller (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

      The presentation will explore how Malaysia’s Islamist opposition movement,
      led by the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), is currently undergoing dramatic
      cultural changes and has developed an unprecedented normative fl exibility
      in the field of modern popular culture. Based on ethnographic data, it will elucidate how, spearheaded by its youth wing, the Islamic Party has shifted
      from a group that long held the image of conservative zealots who try to ban
      any form of art and entertainment towards being a pioneer of pop-cultural
      creativity for missionary (dakwah) purposes. This reorientation, however, and
      the underlying processes of normative change continue to be fiercely contested
      within the movement, and parallel to the rise of pop-Islamism, the same mediasavvy young generation is now also using pop-cultural channels to propagate more classical Islamist ideas, such as the implementation of Islamic criminal law. While the proposed ethnographic description will focus particularly on the role of youth and generationality in these and earlier changes among
      the Islamic Party’s community, the lecture will also refl ect upon the local and
      group-specifi c meanings of the concept of youth (pemuda) and illustrate how
      these, in certain respects, have rather little to do with some of the term’s
      cultural connotations in Western Europe.

      Dominik Müller is heading the DFG Emmy Noether Research Group “The
      Bureaucratization of Islam and its Socio-Legal Dimensions in Southeast Asia” at
      the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. From 2012 until 2016,
      he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Anthropology at Goethe-University Frankfurt’s
      Cluster of Excellence “Formation of Normative Orders”. Since completing his
      PhD in 2012, he also held visiting positions at Stanford University (2013), the
      University of Brunei Darussalam (2014), the University of Oxford (2015), and
      the National University of Singapore (2016). Parallel to his current position in
      Germany, he is a Fellow at the National University of Singapore (2017-2020)
      and will be a stipendiary Visiting Fellow in Law and Social Change at the
      Islamic Legal Studies Program, Harvard University, in spring term 2018. He is
      a member of the “Junge Akademie | Mainz” at the Academy of Sciences and
      Literature in Mainz. His dissertation on the rise of pop-Islamism in Malaysia
      received the Frobenius Society’s Research Prize 2012. His research appears
      in peer-reviewed journals such as as Asian Survey, Globalizations, Indonesia
      and the Malay World, Internationales Asienforum, Paideuma, South East Asia
      Research, the Cambridge Journal of Law and Religion (forthcoming), the Kyoto
      Review of Southeast Asia (forthcoming), and the Journal of Current Southeast
      Asian Affairs (forthcoming).

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