The Life of Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim
by Dr. John Esposito I first met Anwar Ibrahim in the mid–1970s when as a young professor I visited Malaysia. It is difficult today to appreciate how marginal Southeast Asian countries (politically, economically and educationally) and Islam were in America, from the US government to Academia. In contrast to European colonialism (specifically Great Britain and the Netherlands) which had a political, military, economic, educational and missionary presence and impact, America with the exception of its occupation of the Philippines (1898–1946), saw its interests elsewhere. Anwar Ibrahim has a long established and celebrated record as a remarkably popular and effective youth leader, founder of a reformist social movement, senior Malaysian government official, Islamic reformer and public intellectual. His contributions, accomplishments and integrity have been acknowledged for many years in Malaysia, throughout the Muslim world and in the international community. But the cost of his political prominence and activism at home has also meant hardship for Anwar Ibrahim and his family, vilification and imprisonment (1974–1976 and 1999– 2004); released from the latter when his conviction was overturned. Anwar’s career spanned five significant decades of major transitions and transformation in which he has been a major voice and player: Southeast Asia’s economic “miracle,” the so-called tiger economies of Indonesia, Singapore and others; the Islamic Resurgence and its impact from the Middle East to Southeast Asia; US-Muslim world relations from the Islamic resurgence to 9/11 and the “global war of terrorism;” and most recent turn of the Obama administration from its...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.