Book Launch of 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
January 6, 2024

Date: Monday, 8st January 2024

Time: 3.00PM – 5.30PM

Venue: University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus – Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre, Level 2 Chulan Tower, 3 Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur


Register at:


Welcoming Speech & Book Launch:

Professor Zaharom Nain
Director of the Centre for the Study of Communications and Culture
University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus



Professor Dr. Ahmet T. Kuru
Director of Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies and Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University


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

Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa
Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Monash University Malaysia



Associate Professor Dr. Isham Pawan Ahmad
International Institute of Islamic Thought & Civilization (ISTAC)

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 Isham Pawan Ahmad

3.05-3.15PM:  Welcoming speech & Book Launch by Prof. Zaharom Nain

3.30-4.00PM:  Presentation by Prof. Dr. Ahmet T. Kuru

4.00-4.15PM:  Discussant I: Dr. Fadzilah Din

4.15-4.30PM:  Discussant II: Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa

4.30-5.20PM:  Discussion

5.20-5.30PM:  Conclusion by Moderator

Jointly organized byIslamic Renaissance Front (IRF) & University of Nottingham Malaysia


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

Professor Zaharom Nain is Director of the Centre for the Study of Communications and Culture, and Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC). His academic background and research interests are in the sociology of communications and the political economy of the media.  He is currently Chair of the Malaysian Academic Movement (Gerak), and was the only academic on the national-level Creative Industries Advisory Council which was set up by the Malaysian Academy of Sciences to map out the future of the creative industries in Malaysia Internationally, he is the recipient of two Fulbright professorships – as a Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Diego in 1998-99, and as a Senior Scholar-in-Residence at Johnson State College, Vermont, in 2009.

Dr. Isham Pawan Ahmad is an Associate Professor teaching philosophy and theology at the International Islamic University, Malaysia. He obtained his Master at the University of Chicago under the late Prof. Fazlur Rahman and his PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His research interest focuses mainly on questions on epistemology and how it impacts our understanding of the relationship of revelation to reason. This understanding shapes our view of religion and ethical worldview. He has expanded this research to include works on interfaith dialogue which translated in collaborations in works on global religious understanding and appreciation with recognition and acceptance of global ethics. He has written and presented numerous papers both locally and internationally.
Dr Isham can be reached at [email protected]

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, evagelization and Christian mission, and the new ideas that would change the Muslim world for better. She identifies as a practicing Muslim and a member of the larger humanity.

Dato’ Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa is the Founder & Director of the intellectual think tank, Islamic Renaissance Front, focusing on reform (Islah) and renewal (Tajdid). He holds a PhD in Surgery from Monash University Australia. He has conducted numerous seminars, forums, colloquiums, symposiums and conferences involving national and international figures on issues concerning Muslim political thoughts, democracy, human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, inter- and intra-faith dialogues and religious sectarianism. He has presented at national and international conferences and also published numerous academic articles concerning Medicine and Philosophy.

Contact Us
Islamic Renaissance Front
26th Floor Menara Maxis, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone: +603-2615-7919
Fax: +603-2615-2699
Updated version: 2.39-20231022