Regional Conference I on: “Islam & Development: Towards Democracy and Social Justice”

March 18, 2018


Date: 23rd – 25th March 2018
Venue: Palm Garden Resort, Putrajaya

BY INVITATION ONLY

Organizers:
Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF),
Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS),
Institute of Malaysia and International Studies (IKMAS) UKM,
Center for Religious and Cultural Studies (CRCS), Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM).

The Qur’anic teachings are better represented in Western societies than in Islamic countries, which have failed to embrace the values of their own faith in politics, business, law and society.

Muslim countries used religion as an instrument of state control. Unfortunately, many countries that profess Islam and are called Islamic are unjust, corrupt, and underdeveloped and are in fact not ‘Islamic’ by any stretch of the imagination. This was concluded by a team of researchers, led by Prof. Hossein Askari, a leading academic at George Washington University, who had developed an index to address this disconnect between the teachings of the Qur’an and its practice in the Muslim World.

His approach was to establish a benchmark, based on the Qur’an, which Muslims could use to question the policies of their own countries. They could use the indices to assess the success of their governments and their ruling elites in establishing societies that reflect the Qur’anic teachings and values, a benchmark that over time could measure success and failure and afford them an instrument for affecting helpful reforms. The index is known as the Islamicity Index.

It is surprising to discover that despite being known as an index of Islamicity, the top rank countries in both economic achievement and social values are all non-Muslim majority countries. In the most recent rankings in 2016; New Zealand, Netherlands and Sweden were ranked as the top three countries of the Islamicity Index, out of 150 countries. While most majority Muslim countries were ranked at the bottom half of the ranking. Interesting to note, Malaysia was ranked 41, and perhaps can be said as to be the most Islamic among the Muslim majority countries.

Still, what is obvious from this index, Muslim societies are still far behind when it comes to progress and development at the global scale, and even further when it comes to meet the ideal standard of societal development put forward by Islam. Thus, in the third Regional Conference on: “Islamic Development towards Democracy, Social Justice and Religious Tolerancethe discussion on Islam and the development of Muslim societies will be addressed and explored further, with a hope for a better progress especially for Muslim societies in this region, mainly in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Welcoming Remarks:

Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa (Director, IRF)
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Rashila Ramli, (IKMAS, UKM)

Lecture sessions:

  1. Prof. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development.
    Topic 1 Keynote Lecture: Islamic Economic Alternatives
    Topic 2: Riba and the Moral Economy of Islam
  1. Dr. Azhar Ibrahim, Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS).
    Topic: Muslim Intellectuals and the Varieties of Developmental Paradigm
  1. Dr. Ahmad Najib Burhani,Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jakarta
    Topic: “Muhammadiyah & Islamic Development in Indonesia”
  1. Dr. Sharifah Syahirah, Kolej Universiti Poly-tech MARA (KUPTM)
    Topic: “Muslim Women and the role in Nusantara Regional Development”
  1. Prof Mohd Nazari Ismail, Faculty of Business and Accounting, University of Malaya (UM)
    Topic: “Values, Systems and Economic Problems”

Public Forum:
“The Vision of Islamic Development in Malaysia: Are We on the Right Track?”
Speakers:
Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad (Parti Amanah Negara),
Dr. Muhammad Nur Manuty (PKR),
Prof Mohd Nazari Ismail (University of Malaya)
Moderator:
Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa (IRF)

Workshop Session:
“Advocacy Project on Religious Moderation in Nusantara”
Facilitator:
Ehsan Shahwahid (IRF) 

Programs
Friday, 23rd March 2018

 

1500

1700

 

Check-In

Conference Registration & Tea – Function Room

1800

Ice-breaking & Discussion with Participants – Function Room

Facilitator: Ehsan Shahwahid (IRF)

1900

2000

2010

 

2020

 

2030

 

 

2115

2215

Dinner & Maghrib prayer

Speech by Chairperson, Ehsan Shahwahid

Welcoming Remarks

by Dato’ Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Director, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)

Opening Speech

by Prof. Dato’ Dr. Rashila Ramli, (IKMAS, UKM)

Session 1

Keynote Lecture: Islamic Economic Alternatives

Prof. Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Discussion & Session Summary

End

Saturday, 24th March 2018

 

0900

 

Welcoming Speech by Muhammad Syamil Dzulfida

0915

 

 

 

 

1000

1050

Session 2

Dr. Azhar Ibrahim, National University of Singapore (NUS)

Topic: Muslim Intellectuals and the Varieties of Developmental Paradigm

Moderator: Rasyad Razin

Discussion & Session Summary

Tea Break

1100

 

 

 

1145

Session 3

Dr. Ahmad Najib Burhani, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jakarta

Topic: “Muhammadiyah & Islamic Development in Indonesia”

Moderator: Shawn Syazwan

Discussion & Session Summary

1245 Lunch & Zuhur prayer

1400

 

 

 

1445

Session 4

Dr. Sharifah Syahirah, Kolej Universiti Poly-tech MARA (KUPTM)

Topic: “Muslim Women and the role in Nusantara Regional Development”

Moderator: Afiqah Zulkifli

Discussion & Session Summary

1530

 

 

 

 

1615

1700

Session 5

Prof Mohd Nazari Ismail, Faculty of Business and Accounting, University of Malaya (UM)

Topic: “Values, Systems and Economic Problems”

Moderator: Ehsan Shahwahid

Discussion & Session Summary

Tea Break

1900 Dinner

2030

 

 

2115

Session 6

Prof. Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Topic: Riba and the Moral Economy of Islam

Moderator: Julia Sveshnikova

Discussion & Session Summary

2200 End

 

Sunday, 25th March 2018

0915 Welcoming Speech by Elma Berisha

0930

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1100

Session 7

Public Forum:

The Vision of Islamic Development in Malaysia: Are We on the Right Track?

Speakers:

Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad (Amanah),

Dr. Muhammad Nur Manuty (PKR),

Prof Mohd Nazari Ismail (UM)

Moderator:

Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa (IRF)

Discussion & Session Summary

1200 Lunch & Zuhur prayer

1300

1430

Check-out

Workshop Session (Delegates):

Advocacy Project on Religious Moderation in Nusantara

Facilitator: Ehsan Shahwahid (IRF)

1700

Tea & Conference Ends

 

 

Speakers’ biographies:

Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram is a Visiting Fellow at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, and Adjunct Professor at the International Islamic University in Malaysia. He was UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) from 2005 until 2012 (2005 – 2012), Research Coordinator for the G24 Intergovernmental Group on International Monetary Affairs and Development (2006 – 2012), Assistant Director General for Economic and Social Development, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (2012 – 2015) and Third Holder of the Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia (2016-2017). He received the 2007 Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. Jomo has authored and edited over a hundred books and translated 12 volumes besides writing many academic papers and media articles, including over a dozen volumes relating to Islam. He was Professor in the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya until November 2004, Founder Director (1978-2004) of the Institute of Social Analysis (INSAN) and Founder Chair (2001-2004) of IDEAs, International Development Economics Associates (www.ideaswebsite.org).

Dr Azhar Ibrahim is the Deputy Head of the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS). He obtained his PhD., MA, from the same Department in 2002 and 2008 respectively. His dissertation focused on the humanism and intellectualism among Malay literary intelligentsia while his MA thesis dealt with the study of religious orientations as reflected in feudal Malay society and its continuities in the present. He majored both in Malay Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies at undergraduate level. He has been a Lecturer for almost ten years at the National Institute of Education, (NIE) Nanyang Technological University, teaching classical and modern Malay literature, sociology of the Malays, as well as Islamic intellectual traditions and civilization. At NIE he also co-teach multiculturalism and critical pedagogy. His research interest includes sociology of religion, sociology of literature and critical literacy, and the Malay-Indonesia intellectual development. He finished his post-doctoral research on social theology in Muslim Southeast Asia at the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and at Abbasi Islamic Studies Program at Stanford University, USA. Currently he teaches Malay-Indonesian literature and ideologies of development at the Department. His research interest includes sociology of religion, sociology of literature and critical literacy, and the Malay-Indonesia intellectual development. Amongst his published books are: Historical Imagination and Cultural Responses to Colonialism and Nationalism: A Critical Malay(sian) Perspective (2017), Menyanggah Belenggu Kerancuan Fikiran Masakini (2016), Contemporary Islamic Discourse in the Malay-Indonesia World: Critical Perspectives. (2014), Narrating Presence: Awakening from Cultural Amnesia. (2014).

Dr Ahmad Najib Burhani is senior researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jakarta. He received his PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California-Santa Barbara, USA. During the last year of his study, he won the Professor Charles Wendell Memorial Award from UCSB for the academic achievement in the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Since his doctorate, Najib Burhani has been active in publishing articles in top academic journals such as Asian Journal of Social Science (NUS/Brill), Indonesia and the Malay World (SOAS/Roudledge), Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations (Birmingham/Roudledge), Sojourn (ISEAS), Contemporary Islam (Springer), and Asian Politics & Policy (Wiley-Blackwell). He also contributed articles for edited volumes published by Palgrave Macmillan Press, Amsterdam University Press, ISEAS, and so on. His monograph includes Sufisme Kota (2001), Islam Dinamis (2001), Tarekat Tanpa Tarekat (2002), Muhammadiyah Jawa (2010), and Muhammadiyah Berkemajuan (2016). Currently, he serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Masyarakat dan Budaya (jmb.lipi.go.id) and an editorial board of the journal of Contemporary Islam (Springer). Najib Burhani was a fellow at the Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict (CRCC), Drew University, New Jersey, USA; IIIT (International Institute of Islamic Thought) Virginia, USA; ISIM (International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World) Leiden, the Netherlands; and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Kyoto University, Japan. Since June 2017, he is a visiting fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.

Dr. Sharifah Syahirah Syed Syeikh is Senior Lecturer at Faculty of Cognitive and Human Development Kolej Poly-Tech MARA. She received her Master of Human Sciences (Political Science) from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and PhD from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Her research interest includes International Relations, Gender, Public Policy and Global Governance & Regionalism. She has published and presented many papers in national, regional, and international level on various field, notably, on gender and politics. Dr Syahirah also a member of National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO).

Prof Mohd Nazari Ismail is professor at the Faculty of Business and Accounting, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur and a former dean of the faculty until Jun 2015. He has published numerous articles in local and international journals and has also authored five books. He has also consulted as well as provided training programmes to a number of public and private sector organizations including The Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia, Proton, Matsushita, The Royal Malaysian Police, and the Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. He was the 1999 Fulbright Foundation Malaysian Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA and also the Fulbright Visiting Specialist at Pfeiffer University, North Carolina, USA in 2005. In June 2005, he was a visiting fellow at Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, Oxford, United Kingdom. Prof. Mohd Nazari Ismail obtained his B.Sc. Economics (Hon.) from the University of Wales, U. Kingdom, followed by an MBA from the State University of New York, USA and a PhD from the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad is the Strategy Director of Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH), an Islamist Democrat and former MP for Kuala Selangor. He was a trained Toxicologist from the Imperial College, UK. He has alos authored Striving For Change (The Blindspot Series) (2012) and Najibnomics: Rahmat Atau Malapetaka? (2016). Dr Dzulkefly was a former Director for PAS Research Center and an executive member for PAS. He is a prominent Islamist leader that promotes Islamist Democrat agenda even while in PAS before.

Senator Dr Muhammad Nur Manuty is the Senator for Selangor State Legislative Assembly. He is the former President of Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) and was the Deputy President of Wadah Pencerdasan Umat (WADAH). Before he joined politics, Dr Manuty was the Associated Professor in the Department of Usuluddin and Comparative Religion in the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) from 1995-99. He also worked as Consultant on Islamic Education, Darul Arqam, Singapura; Director for CESMACS, Kuala Lumpur; pert-time lecture at the Kolej Darul Hikmah, Kajang; and he also a visitor scholar for Markfield Institute of Higher Education, Leicester, UK. Now, he is the Chairman for Bureau of Islamic Understanding for People’s Justice Party (PKR) and also the Religious Policy Officer for Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor’s Office.