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Islam and the Malay Civilizational Identity: Tension and Harmony Between Ethnicity and Religiosity

Bakar Osman

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Islam and the Malay Civilizational Identity: Tension and Harmony Between Ethnicity and Religiosity

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Born and raised in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, Osman bin Bakar was educated in Malaysia, at London University, where he obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in mathematics and received his doctorate in Islamic philosophy from Temple University in America. He served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor/Vice President of Academics and the first (1992) holder of the Chair of the Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur). From 2000 to 2005 he was the holder of the Malaysia Chair for the Study of Islam in Southeast Asia in the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. Among his publications are The History and Philosophy of Islamic Science, Islam & Civilizational Dialogue, Tawhid & Science, and Classification of Knowledge in Islam: A Study of Islamic Philosophies of Science.

In this excerpt, the author notes that Malay civilization is the product of the contributions of many currents. As such, it represents in microcosm the theme of Qurn 49:13: We made you into nations and tribes so that you may come to know one another. In short, diversity is a necessary element of Gods design, and Malay identity is proof of the benefits such diversity brings to humankind. Bakar is aware that ethnic diversity among the worlds peoples may lead to excessive pride and even exclusiveness. To avoid this, one must realize that the main purpose of such diversity is understanding driven byas well as in the service ofa divine purpose.

Chapter.  3678 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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