Stark, Jan Images Of Shifting Identities In The Multi-Ethnic State: The Indian Muslims In Malaysia. Working Paper. Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Malaysia's multi-ethnic society has inherited colonial categorizations of race in which Malay, Chinese and Indian communities have been construed as homogeneous blocs. This paper traces the shifting identities of Indian Muslims in an attempt to deconstruct these racial categories. It argues that Indian Muslims have always moved between resistance and adaptation to these policies, particularly so after the Malaysian state has introduced its Malay-centered Bumiputera policies. As race and religion denote racial identity Indian Muslims have been pressed to side with either Muslim Malays or Hindu Indians for political. representation and resource allocation nevertheless they have managed to retain certain levels of autonomy: Some of them have explored possibilities of economic autonomy or have joined the emerging networks of Islam and civil society. Despite Malaysia's efforts to create a "Malaysian race" (bangsa Malaysia), the case of the Indian Muslims demonstrates the long and difficult path ahead towards racial consolidation.
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