• Class Number 4682
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Gregory Fealy
    • AsPr Gregory Fealy
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course concentrates on historical and contemporary issues in Southeast Asian Islam. As a background, students will be presented with a general outline of the history and central teachings of Islam, before studying the process of Islamisation within Southeast Asia. It will examine the ongoing interaction between external Islamic influences and local political and religious traditions, analysing the extent to which this produced thinking and institutions which were distinctive to Southeast Asia. Particular attention will be paid to recent issues such as sharia-isation in Indonesia and Malaysia, gender discourses, militant Islamism and terrorism, liberal Islamic thought and the Islamic insurgencies in southern Thailand, western Burma and the southern Philippines.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, student will have the skills and knowledge to:
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the major historical, political and cultural developments relating to Southeast Asian Islam as well as show knowledge of key organisations, movements, figures and trends in the region's Muslim societies.
  • Understand major scholarly approaches to the study of Southeast Asian Islam.
  • Critically engage with primary and secondary source materials and develop independent interpretations.
  • Communicate knowledge about Southeast Asian Islam to diverse audiences in a clear and balanced manner.

Research-Led Teaching

The primary focus of my research has been Islamic politics, social movements and terrorism, particularly in Indonesia but also more broadly in Southeast Asia. This course draws directly on my 30 years' experience as a researcher on this set of subjects.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Recommended Texts

Liow, Joseph Chinyong, Religion and Nationalism in Southeast Asia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2016.

Fealy, Greg and Virginia Hooker (eds.), Voices of Islam in Southeast Asia: A Contemporary Sourcebook, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2006.

Federspiel, Howard M., Sultans, Shamans & Saints: Islam and Muslims in Southeast Asia, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007 (cheaper edition republished by Silkworm Books, Chiangmai, 2008).

Nathan, K.S., and Mohammad Hashim Kamali (eds.), Islam in Southeast Asia: Political, Social and Strategic Challenges for the 21stCentury, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005.

Additional General Texts

Esposito, John L., Islam in Asia: Religion, Politics and Society, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Riddell, Peter, Islam and the Malay-Indonesian World: Transmission and Responses, Singapore: Horizon Books, 2001.

Islam, Syed Serajul, The Politics of Islamic Identity in Southeast Asia, Singapore: Thompson, 2005

Ibrahim, Ahmad, Sharon Siddique and Yasmin Hussain (eds), Readings on Islam in Southeast Asia, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1985.

Leifer, Michael, Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Southeast Asia, 3rdedn, London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

Feener, R. Michael (ed.), Islam in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2004.

Islamic Dictionaries

*Esposito, John L., The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Glassé, Cyril, The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam, London: Stacey International, 1989.

Nanji, Azim, Dictionary of Islam, London: Penguin Reference Library, 2008.

Roy, Olivier and Antoine Sfeir (eds), The Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism, New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.

Encyclopaedia of Islam(2ndedn), The Hague: E.J. Brill.  (The extensively revised third edition is now available online.)

The Qur’an

There are many translations of the Qur’an into English.  Perhaps the most accessible are

M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, and Tarif Khalidi, The Qur’an: A New Translation, London: Penguin Classics, 2008.  A. Yusuf Ali’s The Holy Qur’an: Translation and Commentary(various publishers) is also widely used and has extensive explanatory notes but the text uses more florid English.

For an excellent description and analysis of the Qur’an, see A. H. Johns, ‘Listening to the Qur’an: Drama, Paradox, Poetry and Ambiguity’, lecture to Emeritus Professors’ Faculty, ANU, 16 May 2007 (a copy will be posted on Wattle).  For more detailed explanations of and commentaries upon the Qur’an, see Jane Dammen McAuliffe (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to The Qur’an, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, and Mokhtar Stork, A-Z Guide to the Qur’an, Singapore: Times International/Minaret Books, 2000. 


Preliminary Reading

The recommended text, Voices of Islam in Southeast Asia: A Contemporary Sourcebookprovides a good starting point for many of the topics covered during this course.  Students should read the Country Overviews (pp. 19-88) as part of their preparatory reading for the course, paying particular attention to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines.  Means’ Political Islam in Southeast Asiaoffers a detailed narrative of key events, organisations and leaders but is analytically cautious.  

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Seminar - Introduction to Islam in Southeast Asia
2 Seminar - Historical and Contemporary Islamisation of Southeast Asia
3 Seminar - Indonesian Islam: Politics, State and Society
4 Seminar - Malaysian Islam: Politics, State and Society
5 Seminar - Revivalism and Islamism in Indonesia and Malaysia
6 Seminar - Radicalism and Terrorism in Southeast Asia
7 Mid-Semester Break (8-23 April)
8 Seminar - Globalisation and Islamic Consumption in Malaysia and Indonesia (11.20: Guest Lecture on Islam and Gender by Dr Sally White)
9 Seminar - Women, Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia (11.20: Guest Lecture on Thailand Insurgency by Rungrawee Chalermsripinyorat)
10 Seminar - Muslim Identity and Insurgency in Southern Thailand (11.20: Guest lecture on Islam in Myanmar by Dr Andrew Selth)
11 Seminar - The Rohingya and Islam Policies in Myanmar (11.20: Guest Speaker on Islam in the Philippines by Prof Paul Hutchcroft)
12 Seminar - The Moro Struggle in the Southern Philippines
13 Seminar - Reflections on Southeast Asian Islam

Tutorial Registration

Seminar course; no tutorials

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Seminar Participation (10%) 10 % 25/02/2019 28/05/2019 1,2,3,4
Seminar Presentation (15%) 15 % 04/03/2019 04/07/2019 2,3,4
Critical Review (15%) 15 % 05/04/2019 23/04/2019 1,2,3
Research Essay (30%) 30 % 03/05/2019 28/05/2019 1,2,3
Final Examination (30%) 30 % 13/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Seminar Participation (10%)

The course comprises twelve two-hour seminars (with a 10-minute break in the middle). Attending and participating actively in seminars is an essential part of this course. Attendance will be recorded and students are expected to have read at least all of the mandatory readings (2-3 per week) assigned for each seminar. Seminars work best when those participating have done sufficient preparation to allow informed and thoughtful discussion. When reading the prescribed works, make sure that you have a clear sense of what the author's key arguments are and what sort of evidence is presented to support their argumentation.

The last 30-40 minutes of each seminar to give a short lecture on the following week’s seminar. These ‘mini-lectures’ will provide an overview of the key historical events, movements, leaders and ideas to be discussed in the following seminar. I and the guest lecturers will use powerpoints containing key dates, names, places and terms, as well as relevant images; these powerpoints will be uploaded onto the course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 04/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Seminar Presentation (15%)

Each student will be required to give one seminar presentation during the semester. The presentation should be no longer than 8 minutes and will take the form of an introduction to the topic. Presenters should prepare a one-page handout for other students listing key points, questions and arguments to be considered during the subsequent discussion. Presenters should not read from a prepared text but rather speak to key points.  Use of PowerPoints is recommended but not essential. I expect presenters to have read all the recommended readings and preferably some of the additional readings. The oral and written aspects of the presentation will be assessed. Students should seek to demonstrate their knowledge of the readings and be prepared to discuss critically the various texts.

Students can nominate their preferred seminar topic during the first seminar. Students may give joint presentations (maximum of two presenters per seminar), in which case 15 minutes will be allowed. Joint presenters may decide to divide the topic between them with each taking different issues, or they may choose to deliver opposing views.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 05/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Critical Review (15%)

Students are to write an 800-word critical review focusing on one of the mandatory readings for weeks 1-5. The review is designed to assess the clarity and organisation of students’ written work, as well as students’ critical engagement with the materials studied in the first weeks of semester.

The critical review should set out to do the following:

- introduce the subject matter with which the text is concerned;

- identify any scholarly debates on this subject, and indicate how the text contributes to those debates;

- explain the central argument(s) and evidence presented by the author;

- identify any apparent biases, weaknesses, omissions or contradictions in the text.

Students are not expected to undertake extensive additional research for the purposes of this assessment item. However, it is expected that at least 3 additional academic resources are used in compiling the critical review, and that these are appropriately referenced and included in a bibliography.


(1) It is worth reading through a few book reviews published in academic journals before you start writing. These should offer an idea of the tone, style and substance of a good-quality critical review.

(2) Make sure you are thorough in reading the article under review. Taking notes is a good idea. Conduct additional background reading on the same subject, so that you can write more confidently and from a position of greater authority.

(3) Try to ensure your writing is direct and unambiguous, and that the review is structured in a logical and orderly manner.

The critical review is due by 23:55 on Friday, 5 April 2019

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 03/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Research Essay (30%)

The main essay is 2500 words and provides an opportunity for you to explore more deeply a topic of your choice.… Students must choose a different topic for the main essay to that on which they wrote their tutorial essay. Students may not, however, duplicate any essay done in another course at ANU.   A list of possible questions is given below, but students are encouraged to devise their own questions in consultation with me. The essays must be submitted via Wattle by 23.55pm, Friday, 3 May 2019

Possible Essay Questions

  • ‘Islamisation in Southeast Asia has been inseparable from globalization, both historically and contemporaneously.’ Discuss.
  • ‘European colonial powers in Southeast Asia sought to contain and undermine Islam, but, paradoxically, their policies resulted in greater Islamisation.’ Is this correct?
  • Compare the impact of political Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia and assess which has been the more influential.
  • ‘Political Islam failed in Indonesia because of state repression, not because it was unpopular’ (Hartono Marjono, 1999). Does the evidence from the Soeharto and post-Soeharto periods support this view?
  • According to Farish Noor, Islamisation threatens the social and political cohesion of Malaysia. Is this justified?
  • Is the violence in southern Thailand and the southern Philippines primarily religious or ethno-nationalist? (You may choose either country or compare the two.)
  • The history of Muslim unrest in Thailand’s south shows that ethno-religious pluralism is better than attempted assimilation. Do you agree?
  • Should we view Southeast Asian terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah and Jamaah Anshorud Daulah as products of global jihadism or local militancy?
  • Do the writings of ‘terrorism experts’ tells us more about Western security preoccupations than they do about regional jihadism?
  • Was the Cultural Islam movement in Indonesia the product of political repression during Soeharto’s New Order or an intellectual disillusionment with political Islam?
  • ‘Jemaah Islamiyah may not have been controlled by al-Qaeda, but it was inspired by it.’ Is this true?
  • ‘If we look at Indonesia’s involvement in the OIC and D8, as well as its sending of peace-keepers to southern Lebanon and Bosnia, we can see that Islam is a major factor in the country’s foreign policy’. Do you agree?
  • Which has been more influential in shaping Muslim thought and behaviour in Indonesia: political Islam or cultural Islam?
  • Conflict between the Buddhist-dominated Thai state and Muslim Malays in the ‘deep south’ are inevitable given the ethnic and religious differences between them. Do you agree?… 
  • Is the Moro struggle in Mindanao and Sulu based primarily on ethno-nationalism or Islam?
  • ‘The literature on Southeast Asian terrorism is inherently flawed because it is based on coerced ‘testimony’, uncorroborated intelligence reports and undisclosed oral sources.’ Is this a fair characterisation?
  • To what extent has the Kaum Muda movement realised its ambition to purify and modernise Islam?
  • Several Malaysian prime ministers have asserted that their country is effectively an Islamic state. Are they correct? In your answer, include consideration of the wording of the Constitution, the level of sharia implementation and Malay political discourse.
  • ‘Commodified middle-class Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia indicates symbolic and superficial Islamisation rather than a substantive process of religious change’. Discuss
  • The failure of Burmese Muslims, especially the Rohingya, to culturally assimilate is the main reason for their repression and persecution. Discuss.

Tip: The tutorial reading lists provide many references relevant to answering these essay questions. Please see Greg or Ray if you are having trouble locating sufficient material for your essays.

Criteria for assessing written work

Essay writing is an essential part of the learning process and a vital medium through which your understanding of a subject can be assessed. Good academic writing usually contains the following attributes:

  • Arguments supported by reference to secondary and, if possible, primary material
  • Adequate range of sources
  • Central question or issue clearly defined and answered
  • Discussion of key issues and relevance of narrative
  • Logical flow of ideas and arguments
  • Evidence of creative thought and articulation of own ideas
  • Conclusions supported by evidence and argument
  • Contains introduction and conclusion
  • Fluent and succinct writing
  • Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Neat presentation

When preparing essays, students should use the above list as a guide. It is particularly important to engage critically with source materials. Do not accept without question the views or interpretations given in the works which you read. Use them rather as a means of finding your own way into the problem at hand.Your essays should be more than simply a report on other people’s views but instead you shoulddemonstrate your own understanding of the question or issue.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 13/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final Examination (30%)

The final assessment for this course will be a take-home examination. It will have nine questions and students will be required to answer two of these, neither of which should be on the same topic as your tutorial presentation or main essay. Exam questions will draw directly on material presented and discussed in seminars, so regular attendance at seminars will be an advantage. The maximum length of each answer is 1000 words. Questions will be posted on Wattle, Monday, 12:00, 10 June; answers must be submitted via Turnitin on Wattle by 23:55, Thursday, 13 June 2019.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Where possible, students work will be returned to them during seminars, but where necessary, assessment can be returned by email or during a face-to-face appointment outside of seminar times.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Only in the most exceptional of circumstances will students be permitted to resubmit an essay.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
AsPr Gregory Fealy
612 52302

Research Interests

Indonesian Islamic Politics and Social Movements, Southeast Asian Islamic History and Culture, Regional Muslim Insurgencies, Terrorism

AsPr Gregory Fealy

Tuesday 14:00 16:00
Tuesday 14:00 16:00
AsPr Gregory Fealy
6125 2302

Research Interests

AsPr Gregory Fealy

Tuesday 14:00 16:00
Tuesday 14:00 16:00

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