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Going to hell or heaven? an analysis of Malaysian Muslims’ perspectives on extremism in religion

Aminudin, Rabi'ah and Jaafar, Muhammad Izzuddin and Akhmetova, Elmira (2020) Going to hell or heaven? an analysis of Malaysian Muslims’ perspectives on extremism in religion. Intellectual Discourse, 28 (2). pp. 623-647. ISSN 0128-4878

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Abstract

Religion has long been the focus of research looking into terrorism and extremism. However, previous researches tend to focus heavily on terrorist and extremist groups who have committed acts of terrorism. This study further expands the literature by analysing how the public perceive extreme elements in their daily religious routines in a multicultural society in Malaysia, employing four dimensions of religiosity, namely, physical, social, cognitive, and spiritual. This research utilised a survey method and distributed it to 497 Malay Malaysian Muslims in 2019. Using descriptive statistical analysis, it was found that there is a tendency for Malaysian Muslims to be more perceptive towards religious extremism, as the majority of the sampling population showed strong support towards the visible aspects of religiosity indicators, such as strict adherence to religious dress code and physical rituals that can be managed and administered through the establishment of a legal institution and can reinforce their status quo as the majority group in society, rather than intangible aspects of extreme religiosity, such as cognitive and spiritual aspects. However, this study also found that extreme religiosity in religious practices is not necessarily an indicator for society to support extremist religious ideologies, as the Malaysian Muslims also showed positive tendencies of living in a multi-faith society. This finding provides insights into how the prevention of religious extremism should address social elements of religiosity and should not be taken care of in isolation, as well as should consider the complex historical and social dimensions of society. As such, this paper contributes to the understanding of Malaysian Muslims’ perceptions of religious extremism in their daily religious practices in a multicultural society. *************************************************************************** Agama merupakan salah satu tumpuan utama penyelidikan berkaitan isu keganasan dan ektremisme. Walau bagaimanapun, penyelidikan terdahulu lebih cenderung mengkaji kumpulan pengganas dan pelampau yang telah melakukan keganasan. Oleh yang sedemikian, kajian ini dihasilkan bertujuan untuk menganalisis pendapat orang awam mengenai unsur-unsur kegiatan melampau yang melibatkan agama dalam masyarakat pelbagai budaya di Malaysia. Kajian ini menggunakan kaedah kaji selidik yang menggariskan empat dimensi dalam beragama sebagai penanda aras; fizikal, sosial, kognitif, dan rohani. Soal selidik kajian ini telah diedarkan kepada 497 responden yang terdiri daripada individu berbangsa Melayu dan beragama Islam di Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia pada tahun 2019. Dengan menggunakan analisis statistik deskriptif, kajian ini mendapati bahawa terdapat kecenderungan umat Islam Malaysia terhadap elemen fahaman melampau agama. Sampel majoriti penduduk menunjukkan sokongan yang tinggi terhadap aspek fizikal keagamaan seperti pematuhan kod pakaian agama yang ketat dan pentadbiran institusi undang-undang mengikut undang-undang Islam kerana ini dapat mengukuhkan status quo mereka sebagai kumpulan majoriti dalam masyarakat. Kajian ini mendapati responden mempunyai toleransi agama yang lebih tinggi dalam aspek yang tidak ketara dalam keagamaan seperti aspek kognitif dan rohani. Namun begitu, kajian ini juga menunjukkan bahawa kecenderungan terhadap aspek esktrem dalam beragama tidak semestinya menjadi kayu ukur sokongan sesebuah masyarakat kepada ideologi ekstremisme agama. Analisis mendapati umat Islam Malaysia menunjukkan kecenderungan positif untuk hidup secara harmoni dalam masyarakat berbilang agama dan menerima hak penganut agama lain untuk mengamalkan agama mereka secara terbuka di Malaysia. Hasil kajian ini memberi gambaran bahawa aspek kemasyarakatan agama, sejarah dan latar belakang sosial perlu diambil kira dalam mencegah kegiatan ekstremisme agama. Oleh itu, penyelidikan ini menyumbang kepada pemahaman persepsi umat Islam Malaysia terhadap aspek ekstrem beragama dalam masyarakat berbilang budaya.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 6513/84664
Uncontrolled Keywords: religious extremism; Islam; religious harmony; multiculturalism; Malaysia, Ekstremisme agama; Islam; keharmonian agama; kepelbagaian budaya; Malaysia
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP173.44 Human Rights In Islam
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP173.55 Islam and nationalism
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP173.6 Islam and the state
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP173.63 Islam and civil society
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP173.7 Islam and politics
J Political Science > JC Political theory > JC49 Islam and Politics
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General) > JF799 Political rights. Political participation
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of History & Civilization
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Political Science
Depositing User: Dr Elmira Akhmetova
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2020 11:20
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2020 10:32
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/84664

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