The Need for Civilizational Dialogue

Ibrahim Anwar

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
The Need for Civilizational Dialogue

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A Malaysian religious and political activist and intellectual, he established the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM) in 1972, a social movement and organization that pressed for Islamization of Malaysian life, educational reform, and social justice. He became the most influential youth leader and political activist in Malaysia and a prominent Muslim leader internationally. He joined the ruling UMNO party (United Malays National Organization) in 1983 and quickly went on to hold a series of cabinet-level positions, culminating in his becoming Deputy Prime Minister. In 1998 he was removed from power by the Prime Minister and tried for sedition and corruption. His trial and conviction drew international attention as well as criticism from human rights organizations and many international leaders. In 2004, his conviction was overturned and he was released.

In this excerpt from a paper written in 1995 for Georgetown Universitys Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Ibrahim rejects the caricature and stereotyping of civilizations, by Westerners portraying Islam and the Muslims or by Muslims portraying the West and its people. The story of Western colonialism and the Orientalist posture toward Muslims are well-known, but Ibrahim attributes the reason for Western negative images of Muslims in part to the failure of many Muslims themselves to realize and manifest their own ideals.

Chapter.  1958 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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