chapter  2
27 Pages

The development of the Islamist movements in Malaysia

WithMohd Irwan Syazli Saidin

This chapter highlights the development of political Islam and the emergence of Malaysia’s Islamist movements – the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), the Malaysian Muslim Solidarity Front (ISMA) and the National Trust Party (AMANAH) – and provides ‘snapshots’ of the political protests in Malaysia. Before examining the selected cases of Islamist movements in Malaysia, it is vitally important to understand the context and nature in which these movements operate under the former Barisan Nasional-led regime. The chapter will focus on the historical background, ideology, political approach and connection to global political Islam of selected Islamist movements in Malaysia – the PAS and AMANAH Islamist parties as well as the ABIM and ISMA Islamist non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It is essential to review these fundamental aspects of each Islamist movement before investigating and analysing their members’ attitudes towards the development of the Arab Uprisings in the Middle East.