Islam, Mosque Architecture and Nation Building: A Socio-Political Critique

Urbanization, Consumption and Culture Seminar Series

About the Seminar

This talk discusses mosque architecture design and planning within the perspective of Islam in a multi-faith context and ongoing nation-building. The conceptualization of Islam as a dynamic construct that can thrive within a democratic context as well as a progressive and open society in a global scenario seldom impinge upon the institution and the architecture of the mosque. The mosque is still at this juncture considered specifically for the Muslim community as a sacred prayer space as well as a community facility. In western countries such as Australia and the USA, Muslims have had to adapt to the growing uneasiness of the host community because of the rising tide of religious extremism by small groups of irresponsible Muslims. For this reason, planning authorities and visionary architects have had to review the isolated nature of the mosque design from the urban and community context to consider the mosque as a gathering place for all. This talk introduces the socio-political construct of changing the idea of the mosque from a purely Malay-Muslim entity to a facility that encourages social inclusion of all faiths with the aim of building a better society. This approach would have vast implications on the planning of the mosque spaces as well as the design language of form, material and ornament details.

About the Speaker

Prof Dr Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi was an academic at a public university from 1987 to 2015. He was appointed to full professor in 2005 and retired in 2015. He is now currently Professor of Architecture at UCSI University in the Cheras Campus. He obtained his Bachelors in Architectural Studies in 1984 and his Master of Architecture in 1986 both from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA. He was conferred the Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1996. Prof Tajuddin is a prolific writer with 50 books published and hundreds of media articles in the Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times, Freemalaysiatoday, Malaysiakini, Malaysianinsider, Malaysianinsight, Sin Chiew Daily, The Star and The Borneo Post. He is the author of Rethinking the Mosque for a Modern Muslim Society (ITBM), Rethinking Islamic Architecture (Gerakbudaya), Not the Islam I Know (ZI Publication), Architecture and Nation Building: Multiculturalism and Democracy (Penguin).


For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 9 December 2019.


Dec 11 2019


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2