Mustafa K Anuar reviews a compelling book for those those concerned about Islam, identity politics, power relations, ethnic relations and democracy in Malaysia.
As Obama seeks to define the new image of the new America that hopes to play the role of honest broker and equal partner in world politics, one wonders if the age of global hegemony is coming to an end or being checked at least. One thing however is certain: in its present state, an America in economic crisis and suffering a credibility deficit can no longer swagger around the world with a big stick, observes Farish A Noor.
Like the famous scholar Ibn Khaldun a long time ago, there are thousands who languish today in the prisons of the Muslim world as political prisoners who are deemed a danger to the prevailing order of power. Though history and hindsight may offer little consolation for those who are languishing in prison, it is important to remember that the pen is mightier than the sword and that the labours of the just will always prevail over the injustice of tyrants. History will see to it that they will be remembered, long after the names of the tyrants and dictators who abused them have been forgotten, says Aliran member Farish Noor.
There are some lessons we can learn from India whose medieval society was more religiously tolerant and open, says Asghar Ali Engineer. But divide-and-rule colonial tactics and politically divisive forces have created communal and religious divisions in their competition for power, threatening India’s secularism in the process.