RSIS Seminar Series on Muslim Societies in Asia

Understanding Religious Diversity in Myanmar
Wednesday, 24 February 2016, 3:30-5:00pm
Dr Melissa Crouch, Lecturer, Law Faculty, University of New South Wales, Sydney

Moderator: Associate Professor Farish (Badrol Hisham) Ahmad-Noor, Coordinator of PhD Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Venue: LHS Lecture Theatre, level 1, The Hive
Nanyang Technological University
52 Nanyang Avenue Singapore 639816. Click here for location map

Click here to register online
Abstract: The anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar over the last few years has brought to the forefront the tensions between the state, society and Muslim communities. Much attention has been given to the large-scale migration and displacement of Muslims from Rakhine State, some of whom identify as Rohingya, which has placed pressure on neighbouring countries in South Asia and South-east Asia. However, there has been less scholarly attention on the diversity of Myanmar’s Muslim communities, the socio-political factors that have shaped conceptions of identity and belonging, and how these communities relate to other Muslims in the region. The need for understanding, and a broader historical perspective, is especially important given the on-going conflict and the displacement of Muslims from Myanmar. To that end, this seminar aims to provide an understanding of the historical roots of Myanmar’s diverse Muslim minorities, its Islamic practices and influences, and how the Burmese Muslim identity has been shaped over time and by interactions with the state and society

About the Speaker:
Melissa Crouch is a Lecturer at the Law Faculty, the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is the Deputy Director of the Comparative Constitutional Law Project; member of the Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project and the Gilbert+Tobin Centre for Public Law. Her research contributes to the field of Asian Legal Studies, with a concentration on Public Law; Islamic Law; and Rule of Law in Fragile States. She has conducted extensive socio-legal field research with a particular focus on Myanmar and Indonesia. Melissa is the author of Law and Religion in Indonesia: Conflict and the Courts of West Java (Routledge, 2014) and editor of the upcoming Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging.