Roundtable Discussion on: Islam, Autoritarianisme dan Kemunduran Bangsa: Suatu Perbandingan Global dan Pensejarahan A translation of “Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison” by Ahmet T. Kuru
December 25, 2023

Date: Monday, 8st January 2024
Time: 3.00PM – 5.00PM
Venue: International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia, 59100 Kuala Lumpur


Register at:


Welcoming Speech:

Professor Dr. Maszlee Malik,

Chairman of IAIS Malaysia& Former Minister of Education Malaysia


Keynote Speech & Book Launch:

YB Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Bin Ahmad
Minister of Health, Malaysia



Associate Professor Dr. Khairudin Aljuneid
Senior Fellow, Georgetown University, Washington DC

Assistant Professor Dr. Fadzilah Din
Abdulhamid Abusulayman Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge & Human Sciences, International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM)



Dr. Ahmad Badri Abdullah
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, IAIS Malaysia


What explains the recent crisis of democracy worldwide? Ahmet Kuru will examine this puzzle in various cases, including the United States, France, Israel, Russia, and India. He will focus on the recent partnership between religion, nationalism, and right-wing populism in these countries. He will explain how the Muslim world is part of this global trend. This presentation will expand Kuru’s “ulema-state alliance concept” beyond the Muslim world. It will show that clergy-state alliances are not limited to Muslim-majority countries but they are also getting stronger in many Christian-majority, Jewish-majority, and Hindu-majority countries.



3.00-3.05PM:  Introduction by Moderator, Dr Ahmad Badri Abdullah

3.05-3.15PM:  Welcoming speech by Prof. Dr. Maszlee Malik

3.15-3.30PM:  Keynote Speech on Islam, Autoritarianisme dan Kemunduran Bangsa by Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad, Minister of Health, Malaysia

3.30-3.45PM:  Discussant I: Associate Professor Dr. Khairudin Aljuneid

3.45-4.00PM:  Discussant II: Assistant Professor Dr. Fadzilah Din

4.00-4.50PM:  Discussion

5.50-5.0PM:    Conclusion by Moderator

5.00PM         :  Tea


Jointly organized byIslamic Renaissance Front (IRF) & International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS)


Biography Prof. Dr. Ahmet T. Kuru

 Ahmet T. Kuru (PhD, University of Washington) is the director of Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies and past Bruce E. Porteous Professor of Political Science at San Diego State University. He was a postdoctoral scholar at Columbia University. Kuru is the author of Secularism and State Policies toward Religion: The United States, France, and Turkey (Cambridge University Press, 2009), which received Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR)’s Book Award. He is also the co-editor (with Alfred Stepan) of Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey (Columbia University Press, 2012). Kuru’s articles appeared in various journals including World PoliticsComparative Politics, and Political Science Quarterly. His recent book Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison (Cambridge University Press, 2019) co-won the American Political Science Association’s International History and Politics Section Award, received honourable mention of SSSR’s Award, and was included in Times Literary Supplement’s Books of the Year. Kuru’s works have been translated into Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Malay, Persian, and Turkish.


Speakers’ Biographies 

Dr. Ahmad Badri Abdullah is currently the Deputy CEO and Principal Research Fellow at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia, with a focus on maqasid al-Sharī‘a (the higher objectives of Shari’a), usul al-fiqh and contemporary Islamic jurisprudence discourse. After obtaining his degree in Shari’a (UM), he was attached to the School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as a reseacher, and then to the Department of Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh, Academy of Islamic Studies at the University of Malaya as a teaching assistant. He has taught various subjects in Shari’a studies include Usul al-Fiqh, Fiqh al-Mu’amalat, Fiqh al-Jinayat etc. He obtained his PhD from the Academy of Islamic Studies, University of Malaya (UM) in the study of maslahah, maqasid al-Shari’a and their relation to systems theories.

Prof. Dr. Maszlee Malik has an extensive background in education, politics, and volunteer work. He previously served as the Minister of Education for Malaysia from May 2018 to January 2020 and was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Simpang Renggam from May 2018 to November 2022. Dr. Maszlee earned his Bachelor’s degree from Al-Bayt University in Jordan and his Master’s degree in Islamic Jurisprudence in 2004. He later completed his Doctorate in Good Governance from Durham University in the United Kingdom. Prior to his political career, Dr. Maszlee was a committed educator, teaching at the International Islamic University Malaysia from 2000 until 2018. He was also an active volunteer, serving as an advisor for multiple NGOs that help children with special needs. Currently, he holds a position as a Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Social Sciences at the University of Cyberjaya, commencing March 2023.

Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad is the current Minister of Health under the current Anwar Ibrahim’s government. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, from Imperial College, London (St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School) in the field of Life Sciences. He is also a is a third term Member of Parliament for Kuala Selangor since May 2018. He would like to describe himself now as a ‘Generalist’ who is very much rooted and comfortable in both the Life Sciences and the Sacred-Transcendental, much as in Governance and Public Policy. Combining these apparently exclusive domains, he claims to exude and provides strategic leadership and effective problem-solving dynamics in the many capacities he assumed, including but not limited to, his former position as the Minister of Health, in the 22 months of PH’s Administration in Putrajaya.

Prof. Dr. Khairudin Aljuneid (PhD SOAS, London) is Professor at the University of Malaya and Senior Fellow (formerly and Professor as well as Malaysia Chair of Islam in Southeast Asia at the Alwaleed Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University). He was also a visiting professor at Columbia University, USA (Fulbright Program) in 2013 and University of Brunei Darussalam in 2022-2023. He is listed as one of the 500 influential Muslims in the World in 2024: A recognized specialist in the field of intellectual history, Khairudin Aljunied’s research focuses on the connections between Southeast Asia and Global Islam. He is the author and editor of thirteen books and more than thirty internationally refereed articles.

Assistant Professor Dr Fadzilah Din has a Bachelor in Arts (Arabic & International Studies) from Ohio State University, and Master in Islamic Revealed Knowledge from the International Islamic University Malaysia. She obtained her PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Edinburgh, UK. She currently teaches moral codes in world religions and Islamic Ethics. She attends interreligious events every now and then and interested in issues related to philosophy, politics, Malay adat, evangelization and Christian mission, and new ideas that would change the Muslim world for better. She identifies as a practicing Muslim and a member of the larger humanity.

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Updated version: 2.39-20231022