Perspectives from the Next Generation: Congruencies and Incongruencies of Identity in the Local Muslim Community


                                                                            Date                  :   18 August 2014                                                    
                                                                            Time                 :   5.00 pm – 7.00 pm
                                                                            Venue              :   Training Room, Lvl 4
                                                                                                           AMP @ Pasir Ris, 1 Pasir Ris Drive 4


Studies on Singaporean Malay/Muslim identity tend to focus on the implications of assertiveness of religio-ethnic identity vis-à-vis the state’s preference for the adoption of “mainstream” Singaporean national values and identity (Mutalib, 2005). Going against this trend, Ms Tuty Raihanah seeks to provide an assessment of the internal implications of growing assertiveness of religio-ethnic identity, within the local Muslim community.  In particular, she will focus on its implications on the prevalent self-image of the community as well as community solidarity. Her presentation will also highlight how Singaporean Muslims often adopt multiple identities without necessarily viewing these identities as contradictory. This was reflected in focus-group discussions held among young emerging leaders and stakeholders within the community. Research for her paper reveals that the prevalent view amongst Singaporean Muslims is that a heightened sense of ‘Singaporean-ness’ is compatible with being a pious Muslim. Finally, in line with the observed increasing salience of religion as an identity marker, her presentation will also briefly touch upon the role of religious authority, namely the local ulama and asatizah, in the construction and fostering of a local Muslim identity. Data was obtained through an ethnographical research methodology which includes organizing focus group discussions, participatory observation and personal interviews. The paper also draws extensively from both primary and secondary sources on the Singaporean Muslim community.

(Note: The discussion put forth in this presentation is in line with the speaker’s ongoing PhD research. It focuses on the notion of identity as a social construct with multiple dimensions, and that the salience of any particular aspect of one’s identity being very closely related to context. It also represents a site of power contestations through which social antagonisms and hegemonic assertion can be discerned. Focusing primarily on the notion of a local Muslim identity in Singapore, the thesis is dedicated to highlighting the role of the Islamic religious leadership in its construction and articulation.)

About the speaker

TUTY thumbnail

Tuty Raihanah Mostarom is a PhD candidate at King’s College London, in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Currently into her third      year, her thesis looks into the role of Islamic religious leadership in the construction of a local Muslim identity within a Muslim-minority context under a  secular government, using Singapore as a case study. Previously an Associate Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies  (RSIS), she holds a M.Sc. in International Relations from RSIS, Nanyang Technological University. She graduated from the National University of    Singapore in 2008 with a Bachelor of Social Science with Honours in Political Science. Her research interests include Political Islam, the study of Muslim-   minority communities, as well as the role of women in the Islamist movement in Southeast Asia. She has just completed her internship at RIMA.


Thank you for those who have registered. Registration is now closed.



© Copyright RIMA 2019 · All Rights Reserved