IAIS works to provide pragmatic advice based on sound knowledge regarding issues facing Islamic societies and governments. Here are excerpts of policy recommendations from research articles in our Journal Islam and Civilisational Renewal.
Vol. 1 No. 4 July 2010
In her article “The Politics of Accommodation and the Problems of Nation-Building in a Plural Society: The Case for Malaysia”, Assoc Prof Ruhanas Harun of UKM observed that Malaysia’s politics of accommodation and management of conflicting interests was fragile and should not be taken for granted. As a component of politics of accommodation, ethnic bargaining is deemed ineffective in reducing inter-ethnic tension as the arrangement is focussed on gains and losses of each ethnic group rather than those of the nation as a whole. ‘Pragmatism’ dominates in the ‘politics of accommodation’, giving preference to what is workable rather than what is right. Source : Journal of Islam and Civilisational Renewal, vol. 1, number 4, July 2010
In his article “The Ḥalāl Industry from a Sharīʿah Perspective”, Prof Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali of IAIS proposes that, firstly, greater uniformity and standardisation in the halāl industry may be attempted by recourse to the principle of selection (takhayyur) and singling out among the various rulings of the madhāhib one that may be most suitable for that purpose. Secondly, he suggests another method of selection that may be utilised. i.e. patching up (talfiq) of certain aspects of rulings of different schools/jurists that maybe amalgamated into a single formula. He further proposes that procedural guidelines be formulated for rule-making and fatwa-issuance. In order to achieve standardize positions in halāl practices, there should be a plan to facilitate high-level media impact and market penetration. Proactive measures to standardise practices should be undertaken by Governments, and a research unit be formed that brings together researchers in sharīʿah studies, food sciences, market specialists and social scientists. In all, standardisation should be informed by approved mores and customs of Muslim communities. Source : Journal of Islam and Civilisational Renewal, vol. 1, number 4, July 2010
In his article “The Compatibility of Islam with Pluralism: Two Historical Precedents”, Maher Y. Abu-Munshar of University of Malaya, concluded that two important documents; i.e. the ‘Constitution of Medina’ issued to the Jews of Medina by the Prophet himself, and the ‘Assurance of Safety’, to the people of Jerusalem by the second caliph ‘Umar, were clearly inspired by religious injunctions and principles. He perceives the two as important examples for leaders in multi-faith societies; with history proving examples whereby non-Muslims were treated kindly and justly. These examples of Muslim and non-Muslim coexistence are not confined to a specific time and place but meant to be applied at all times and places. The path of mutual understanding and tolerance does not deviate from the essence of Islam. Muslim majority societies should adopt an inclusive vision to accommodate followers of other religions. Source : Journal of Islam and Civilisational Renewal, vol. 1, number 4, July 2010
In “Growing the Malaysian Venture Capital and Private Equity Industry” Syed Adil Hussain of Harvard University recommends: to promote the growth of private equity funds in Malaysia, a high–level experts and officials should be appointed to focus on channelling Middle East investment to the country. He also proposes the creation of a RM1 billion fund-of-funds, where government matches funds from the private sector in venture capital and private equity; while attracting and distributing capital in a way that bolsters the VC/PE industry. Source : Journal of Islam and Civilisational Renewal, vol. 1, number 4, July 2010
In “Strengthening Critical Thinking Skills Among Muslim Students”, Abdul Karim Abdullah of IAIS proposes the introduction, or enhancement, of courses in critical thinking skills in institutions of higher learning. That emphasis on critical thinking be placed across the curriculum, not only on one subject. He advocates tolerance of diversity of views, given that Islamic worldview allows ample room for expression of diverse ethnic cultural and religious perspectives, without disadvantaging any party. Students should be encouraged to participate in classroom discussions and express critical perspectives on issues. Rote-learning should be enhanced with methods that emphasize analysis, comprehension and communication. Students should organise and lead their own activities such as debates and publications. Source : Journal of Islam and Civilisational Renewal, vol. 1, number 4, July 2010
In “Islam and the Three Waves of Globalisation: The Southeast Asian Experience” Osman Bakar of IAIS stresses that globalisation should be open to different interpretations and contextualised within historical developments that also allow space for civilisations other than the western. He contends that Islam has from the outset maintained the spirit of ‘ālamiyyah and globalism on humanity, its common predicament and shared space on planet earth; that the civilisational goal of Islam is globalisation of the common good of all nations, not only the most powerful few among them. He maintains that Muslim leaders and intelligentsia have opposed globalisation not because they object to globalisation as such but because the current manifestations of globalisation exhibit many unjust elements, which are deemed unacceptable. Source : Journal of Islam and Civilisational Renewal, vol. 1, number 4, July 2010
In “Honour in Different Cultures and Legal Systems”, Christian Giordano of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, suggests that ‘honour’ be taken as a wider concept that is found in all countries and cultures; that it should not be considered as tied to religion and not peculiarly to Islam either. He perceives honour as something evolving and changeable, but one that remains an integral part of identity of persons, classes and communities; and that it is part of the struggle for recognition. Source : Journal of Islam and Civilisational Renewal, vol. 1, number 4, July 2010
Excerpted by Norhayati Mustapha.
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