Confronting the Religious Extremism in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Study between The Concept of Wasatiyyah and Moderate
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
The emergence of terrorism phenomena especially after the 9/11 tragedy that linked to problem of religious extremism in Islam had managed to draw the attention of scholars to study the Muslim society. In this case, the focus of their studies is the Muslim society in the Southeast Asia that had been called as the second front in facing the religious extremism. Throughout their studies, these scholars especially from the West tried to classify the tendency of thought among the Southeast Asian's
... Southeast Asian's Muslims into moderate-extreme dichotomy. Nevertheless, this dichotomy is seemingly problematic as it was biased when it tries to generalize the whole population of society that strives for sharia aspiration as extreme. As the consequence, it promotes islamophobia among the West toward Muslim societies. As the response to this issue, the Muslim scholars had brought forward the concept of wasatiyyahas the equivalent of the moderate concept that is more appropriate within the Islamic perspective. This research will analyse the difference between these two concept and the different that it will bring practically in preventing religious extremism in Southeast Asia. It will compare the methodology and characteristics used between these two concepts in classifying the tendency of thought among the Southeast Asian's Muslim. This research found out that the concept of wasatiyyahis more appropriate and precise to apply in preventing the religious extremism as compared to the moderate concept that was influenced by the islamophobia way of thinking.