Roundtable on Contemporary Islamism in Maritime Southeast Asia


About the Hybrid Seminar

Following the discourse on a “conservative turn” that arose in the past decade, scholars have identified certain trends in Southeast Asian Islam that strongly indicate the return of Islamism in the region. Some scholars have even linked such developments to similar trends in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and Central Asia. On the whole, social and political expressions of Islamism in Southeast Asia are becoming more fortified in many fields of Muslim life. On the one hand there are new forms of religious conservatism and extremism, but on the other hand, there are also growing demands for halal products and services. This has provoked scholars to redefine the notion of Islamism among Muslims in the region. This roundtable will discuss such trends by observing the dynamic developments in contemporary Islamism in maritime Southeast Asia, particularly in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, and will examine expanded notions of Islamism and conservatism among Muslim communities in the region.

About the Speakers

Professor Noorhaidi Hasan is the Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII), and Professor of Islam and Politics at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University of Yogyakarta and UIII. His research interests include Salafism, Islamic radicalism, identity politics, Muslim middle class, religious diversity, and youth. He obtained his PhD from Utrecht University.

Dr Azhar Ibrahim is a senior lecturer at the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore where he teaches Malay-Indonesian literature and ideologies of development. He attained his PhD from the same department. His research interests include sociology of literature, social theology, Islamic thought, critical literacy, and Malay-Indonesian intellectual development.

Ms Afra Alatas is a research officer at the Regional Social and Cultural Studies Programme, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. She received her Master’s in Malay Studies from the National University of Singapore. Her research interests revolve around socio-religious and socio-political issues in Malaysia and Singapore.

Dr Bhirawa Anoraga is a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia. He attained his PhD from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra. His research interests include digital Islam, Islamic economy and philanthropy, youth, and online movements.

Dr Farid Saenong is a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia. He is currently conducting a joint research project on “Global Politics of Moderate Islam: Indonesia, Egypt and Morocco” funded by the Washington-based H. Luce Foundation (2021–2024). He attained his PhD in Anthropology from the Australian National University, where he is now a visiting fellow at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies.

Dr Hanisah Abdullah Sani is a comparative-historical and political sociologist of religion, law, and state-building. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago, and her postdoctoral training from the University of Michigan. She is currently a lecturer at NUS College.

Dr Haula Noor is a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia. She received her PhD from the Coral Bell School of Asia and Pacific Affairs, Australian National University. Her research interests include family and terrorism, family psychology, Islamic studies, and terrorist ideology.

Dr Norshahril Saat is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Regional Social and Cultural Studies Programme, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He was awarded a PhD in International, Political and Strategic Studies by the Australian National University. His research interests revolve around social and political issues concerning Islam in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Dr Syafiq Hasyim is a lecturer and director of Library and Culture at the Indonesian International Islamic University, and is currently Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Studies Programme, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He received his PhD in Islamic Studies from Freie University, Germany. His research interests include fatwa in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, Islamic commodification, democratic life, political Islam, Islamic feminism, and shariah lifestyle.


This is a hybrid event which will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).

Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS

To join the event in-person at ISEAS, please register via the ISEAS mobile app, available on iOS and Android via the Apple or Play store. Search “ISEAS” to find or scan this QR code.

Apple Store

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Seating capacity is limited. Do register early to avoid disappointment.

Attending the Event Virtually via Webinar

To join the event virtually at the specified date and time using your internet devices, please register here to receive your unique login link for the webinar via the zoom platform.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Nov 30 2023


GMT +8
9:30 am - 2:30 pm

More Info



ISEAS Seminar Room 1 & 2 / Webinar