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Title: Making majority, undoing family: Law, religion and the Islamization of the state in Malaysia
Authors: Mohamad, M. 
Keywords: Islam in Malaysia
Islamic family
Malay-Muslim majority
Muslim masculinity
Muslim-non-Muslim litigations
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Citation: Mohamad, M. (2010-08). Making majority, undoing family: Law, religion and the Islamization of the state in Malaysia. Economy and Society 39 (3) : 360-384. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The formation of the family around Islam and Sharia showcases successful state Islamization and the viability of the Muslim population to continue as a cohesive, homogenized political majority. In Malaysia this is a state-directed project filled with tensions and contradictions. Legal outcomes around Muslim-non-Muslim family litigations (through either civil or Sharia courts) have evidenced the inability of the state to protect the welfare of the family. Sharia reforms have also overprivileged a version of patriarchy which exalts a new Malay-Muslim masculinity as an end to Islamization rather than as a condition of achieving family wellbeing. The cases presented here show how state policies do not inherently put a premium on welfare and productivity as the main motive of family development. Instead, state performativity is aimed at naturalizing the majority (and hegemonic) status of Muslims in the ethnically and religiously plural Malaysian society. The paradox of this situation is that partners, parents and children are torn apart for keeping together the imagined unified collectivity of a Malay-Muslim majority. Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Source Title: Economy and Society
ISSN: 03085147
DOI: 10.1080/03085147.2010.486218
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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