Roundtable discussion on: Reconsidering Religion, the State and the Secular
September 19, 2014

POSTER_RoundTable copy

Date: Sunday, 28 September 2014
Time: 11AM-1PM
Venue: Conference Room, Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF), Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur


Religion together with the concept of state and secularism became a hotly debated topic recently in this country. The proportion of each ingredient in this socio-political mixture varies from country to country and will depend on the point in time of discussion. However the dispute on how religion and state interact seems to be a never-ending story.

The case of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria demonstrated that unsuccessful attempts to establish an ideal model of theocratic state did not dissuade the proponents of such ideas from trying another route in implementing their ideas. The world would probably be witnessing more atrocities in different countries in the long run to be cognizant to the need of staying away from the dangerous blend of religious zeal and strife to power.

How could the strife for piety, justice and equality in rights be wisely kept on equilibrium to benefit the society at large and to guard against any extremism? When will religiosity stop to be offended with the term “secular” and on the other hand, zealous secularists stop to be concerned with infiltration of religious values into public life? Should religion necessarily be kept at bay to prevent the spread of extremist attitudes or is it a tool to tackle the ideologically justified violence?

It is time to revisit this fundamental topic in light of the recent changes in the local political milieu and the changing political landscape of the Middle East and that of the world at large.


1100-1110: Welcoming speech by Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah
1110-1120: Speech by moderator, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa
1120-1150: Speech by Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad
1150-1220: Speech by Dr Nader Hashemi
1220-1300: Q&A
1300: Lunch

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