[Past Event] Christian-Muslim Relations in Singapore, 1819-2019

Seminar [Past Event] Christian-Muslim Relations in Singapore, 1819-2019
21 September 2019

Date 21 September 2019
1.00 pm - 4.00 pm
Legacy Center, MAPEX Building, 37 Jln Pemimpin, #07-13, Singapore 577177
Dr Syed Farid Alatas, Dr Ernest C. T. Chew


This seminar sketches some key developments affecting Christian-Muslim relations in Singapore over the last 200 years.  It starts with the visions of the founders of the colonial settlement (including Munshi Abdullah's views of Raffles and Farquhar), the making of a colonial plural society, the relations between different ethnic and religious communities (especially Christians and Muslims), and colonial policies in British Malaya.

It proceeds to examine such critical events as the Mutiny of 1915 during World War I, the Japanese occupation of WW2, the Maria Hertogh riots of 1950, the communal riots of the 1960s in Singapore and Malaysia, Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East, the Evangelical and Charismatic movements from the 1970s, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the 1980s, the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act, the end of the Cold War, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the USA of 2001, the Arab Spring, and their continuing impact particularly in Asia. 

Register at: bit.ly/interfaith200

Seminar Fees: $40
Location: Legacy Center , 37 Jalan Pemimpin #07-13, Singapore 577177
Lecturer : Ernest C.T. Chew

is an Associate Senior Fellow of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. He graduated with BA (Hons) and MA in History from the University of Singapore, and Ph.D. from Cambridge University. His research fields were British rule and colonial administrators in Malaya and India, where Christian-Muslim-Hindu relations featured prominently, and he lectured on Southeast and South Asian history, and on Asian, European and American military history. He was on the faculty of the University of Singapore/NUS for 40 years, serving as Head of the History Department (1983-92), and Dean of Arts and Social Sciences (1991-97). He was also Chairman of the Oral History Advisory Committee and the Singapore History Museum (now NMS). He was founding Chairman of the University Staff Christian Fellowship, and a President of the Graduates Christian Fellowship. Apart from his research attachment at ISEAS, Dr Chew currently serves as an Advisory Elder of Bethesda (Frankel Estate) Church, and as Vice-Chairman of St. Luke's Hospital and the Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore, and Vice-President of the Bible Society of Singapore. He and his wife Aileen have three adult children, two of whom wrote their Ph.D. dissertations on historical subjects, and two grandchildren.

Lecturer : Syed Farid Alatas

is Associate Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He also headed the Department of Malay Studies at NUS from 2007 to 2013. He lectured at the University of Malaya in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies prior to joining NUS. He obtained his Ph.D. from the John Hopkins University, USA. His areas of interest are the sociology of Islam, social theory, religion and reform, and intra- and inter-religious dialogue. He is active in promoting inter-religious dialogue and has given numerous lectures on interfaith-related topics. His current research is on the problem of Muslim extremism, with a focus on Salafism. He also works on the related issue of sectarianism in Muslim societies and serves on the executive committee of UNESCO’s International Sociological Association. His publications include Asian Inter-Faith Dialogue: Perspectives on Religion, Education and Social Cohesion (editor, 2003); Democracy and Authoritarianism in Indonesia and Malaysia: The Rise of the Post-Colonial State (1997); Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science: Responses to Eurocentricism (2006); An Islamic Perspective on the Commitment to Inter-Religious Dialogue (2008); Muslim Reform in Southeast Asia: Perspectives from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore (editor, 2009); Hadhrami Arabs Across the Indian Ocean: Contributions to Southeast Asian Economy and Society (editor, 2010); Revisiting the Development Agenda in Southeast Asia (editor, 2012); Applying Ibn Khaldun: The Recovery of a Lost Tradition in Sociology (2014); Ibn Khaldun (2013); and Sociological Theory Beyond the Canon (co-author, 2017).

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