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Making Modern MuslimsThe Politics of Islamic Education in Southeast Asia$
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Robert W. Hefner

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832803

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832803.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Reforming Islamic Education in Malaysia Doctrine or Dialogue?

Reforming Islamic Education in Malaysia Doctrine or Dialogue?

(p.106) 3 Reforming Islamic Education in Malaysia Doctrine or Dialogue?
Making Modern Muslims

Richard G. Kraince

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explains some of the changes taking place in Malaysia's Islamic education sector and describes the issues that have emerged as Islamic schooling has been transformed into a more formalized and quantitatively assessable enterprise. It highlights several important trends. First, debates over Islamic education in Malaysia are deeply affected by domestic political concerns. Second, since the Malaysian government has withdrawn subsidies from the already ailing independent Islamic school sector, national schooling, not independent religious schools, has become the primary vehicle for the dissemination of Islamic teachings. Third, the government's insistence on standardizing the content of the Islamic studies curriculum has positioned public education as a major site of contestation over the interpretation of Islamic issues. Last, as new social movements have made inroads into Malaysian society, a cultural divide has widened between those voicing support for greater freedom of expression and individual rights, on one hand, and those committed to the promotion of public piety and ethnoreligious solidarity, on the other. To illustrate this point, the chapter provides an in-depth examination of how education on women's rights and status in society has become one of the most controversial issues in need of review within Malaysia's public Islamic education curriculum.

Keywords:   Malaysia, Islamic education, Islamic schools, national schooling, educational system, education policy, public education, women's rights

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