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Episode 6: Modernist Islam, Malayan Islam and Malayan Nationalism

Dr. Thum Ping Tjin, Research Associate, Centre for Global History, University of Oxford | Dr. Nurfadzilah Yahaya, Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

18-Sep-15 15:00

Episode 6: Modernist Islam, Malayan Islam and Malayan Nationalism

One of the most powerful threads of Malayan nationalism was of Islamic modernism. Originating in the Middle East - particularly at Al-Azhar University in Cairo - the movement attempted to reconcile Islamic faith with the forces of nationalism, democracy, civil rights, rationality, equality and progress that were sweeping the world. Entering Southeast Asia through Singapore (the hub of regional communications), it would not only provide a response to nationalism and self-determination, but would also challenge and undermine traditional forms of Islamic identity in Malaya, driving conflict within the Malay/Muslim community and bringing forth new forms of identity and organisation. In this episode of "The History of Singapore", PJ Thum sits down with Dr Nurfadzilah Yahaya, expert on the history of the Arab and Muslim community in colonial Singapore, to discuss Malay, Muslim, and Malayan identity in Singapore in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Please send questions, comments, and feedback to or visit Support the show at For all the previous episodes in this series, search for "History of Singapore" on


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Tags:  history of singaporesingaporean historysingaporeislamislamic modernismmalayanidentityPJ ThumDr Nurfadzilah Yahayahosbypjthum

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