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The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat

Allers, Charles

The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat

The Life of Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim

Series: American University Studies - Volume 335

Year of Publication: 2013

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 345 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-2356-6 hb.  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.630 kg, 1.389 lbs

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Book synopsis

Long before the recent «Arab Spring», when the topic of democracy with in many Muslim countries took center stage internationally, Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim, an energetic and charismatic politician, had been one of the most vocal global proponents of the compatibility of Islam and democratic principles. Anwar, who at one time was asked to be secretary-general of the United Nations, has lived a life that is a compelling testimony of the growth and evolution of his love for his country and his faith. Anwar has been active at the highest levels of Malaysian politics for over thirty years, and though he has been jailed for his activism on several occasions, he continues to be a dynamic, passionate voice for the diverse cultures, religions, and peoples of Malaysia. Anwar’s life story is told in a factual, impartial way, and his one-on-one interviews with this book’s author add a personal component. This volume is essential reading for scholars and students interested in Islamic politics and South East Asian studies.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Charles Allers earned his PhD in Islamic studies from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and his D.Min. from Azusa Pacific University. Dr. Allers has been active in serving people in the capacity of church pastor and civic chaplain for over twenty years. He and his wife, Greta, reside in San Diego, California.


«Few public figures have transcended their milieu more decisively than Anwar Ibrahim. Moving well beyond the turbulent politics of Malaysia, he has become a major force in modern Islam. Charles Allers meticulously and insightfully documents Anwar’s unparalleled trajectory from intellectual and activist to political outsider and prime minister-in-waiting. This is an assured and sensitive biography that finds, in an exceptional life, the evolution of a liberal Islam in which inter-civilizational dialogue and cosmopolitan values are unexceptional.» (James Piscatori, Durham University)
«Anwar Ibrahim has been a pivotal figure in the intersection between Islam and politics in Malaysia, with an impact that has gone beyond the country’s boundaries. Through this thoroughly researched book, Charles Allers provides insight into the dynamics of change and approaches to ‘reform’, using Anwar as a lens through which decades of discourse and activity can be reflected upon and interpreted. Allers makes an important contribution to research on Islam and Muslims in the contemporary world, not just in relation to Malaysia. The book will be of relevance to students and specialists seeking to develop their understanding of the complexities and controversies surrounding Anwar Ibrahim and his place in Malaysian society, as well as those interested in attitudes toward politics and religion in modern Islamic contexts.» (Gary R. Bunt, Reader in Islamic Studies, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David)


American University Studies. Series 7: Theology and Religion. Vol. 335