International Conference on Muslims in Multicultural Societies (July 14- 16)

Political events in the past years have thrust Muslim communities into the spotlight  and debates on Muslims as active contributors and integrated citizens are still  ongoing. Amidst these, there is an urgent need to critically discuss the situation  of Muslim communities living in multicultural or plural societies. With better understanding,  there  can be an appreciation that Islam and Muslims are not in conflict with modernity, the  secular state and living in diversity.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, together with the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford  University; the National Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne; and  the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore will be organising a 3-day
conference on the theme of ‘Muslims in Multicultural Societies’. This conference serves as a  platform for Muslim communities around the world to share their experiences – models, systems  and processes, and exchange ideas for further development of Muslims in multicultural societies.

Through discussions and exchanges, it is hoped that the conference will generate analysis of the  sufficient and necessary conditions for Muslim communities to contribute and thrive in plural  social contexts and multicultural societies.

The conference seeks to address the following key questions:

  •  What is the vision of Muslim communities living in multicultural or pluralistic societies  in the future?

  •  How do Muslim communities in multicultural societies find inspiration in Islam to help  them be active contributors in the development and transformation of those societies?  

  • What are some of the reforms in religious thinking and practice which have facilitated  this process?

  • What are the institutional and community capabilities required in various sectors (eg. education, politics, economy, cultural, etc.) to help Muslim communities in achieving that vision?

  • What are some of the successful models in institutional building and civic engagement  which have facilitated the progress of Muslim communities?

  •  How we do locate Islam within the larger role of religion in the context of multicultural  or pluralistic societies in the future?

Five key themes will be covered:

  • History – Muslim historical experiences, past and present, including in diverse context  and setting (i.e. majority-minority situations, secular-non-secular polity, etc)

  • Challenges and Vision for Contemporary Muslims – Assessment of current state of  affairs, issues and problems, and how to move forward

  • Islamic Thought and Reform – Dealing with tradition and change in matters governing socio-political life and state-society relations

  • Institutions and Practices – Models of community development practices in various societies and what we can learn from them

  • Contributions of Muslims to Society - Muslims' contributions to society in matters pertaining to social living (eg arts and culture, civilisational discourse etc)

For more information, please contact the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) -


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