This chapter examines political Islam in its statist, civil and everyday manifestations in the context of the authoritarian form of multicultural democracy that prevails in the Malaysian polity. The chapter will attempt to interpret how a political Islam, normally seen as a project to remould state and society according to Islamic doctrines, can have interesting ramifications for social contestations of an everyday or quotidian kind.1 My underlying notion in this chapter is that the quotidian manifestations of a political Islam could be best understood as a sort of Muslim politics, usually purveyed by civil groups but this is invariably framed by state-oriented agencies and a top-down, statist Islam. Thus Muslim politics will be seen as the quotidian socio-political interactions and contestations of Muslim individuals and groups with other Muslim actors as well as with nonMuslims actors. A good part of the chapter will be devoted to an explication and exposition of statist or regimist Islam,2 seen as the discourse and practice of Islam by ruling political parties which have captured state power. Thus both United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), as ruling political parties representing the Malay-Muslim majority, have versions of a statist Islam implemented at federal, state and local levels. Both parties have been involved in a protracted and acrimonious contestation for power with respect to the Malaysian Muslim constituency. This Muslim constituency itself needs to be deconstructed and interrogated in terms of its associational and everyday linkages and relationships directly and indirectly to the political and social realms. This manner of capturing the character and tropes of politics amongMuslims, I believe, will give us a fresh insight into the multiple and plural expressions of a political Islam, as they are actually articulated in the specific case ofMalaysia. In particular, the chapter will delve into policies of Islamization and their rationale, howUMNO and PAS have addressed, handled or implemented policies of Islamization and their formalistic and contrarian quests for an ‘Islamic state’. The chapter will also look into the role of social and civil groups which tend to act as intermediaries between state and society. In so doing, it will provide the narratives as well as explain some of the recent egregious political encounters of Muslims and nonMuslims with state authorities. These contestations should be cast in the overall

context of a Muslim majority drawing on statist support for its political stances on Islam vis-à-vis non-Muslimminorities struggling essentially for citizenship rights on religious issues.