Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Launch: Igniting Thought, Unleashing Youth

Igniting Thought, Unleashing Youth: Perspectives on Muslim Youth and Activism in Singapore, a co-publication by Select Publishing and Young AMP will be launched this Saturday (15 August).

Theme: "Creativity & Criticism: Unveiling Ironies"
GOH: Mr Imram Mohamed, Chairman of AMP
Moderator: Dr Sharon Siddique
Panelists: Dr Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied, Alfian Sa’at, Alvin Tan & Rizwana Begum
Date: Saturday 15 August 2009
Time: 10.00 am - 12.30 pm
Venue: The Pod, National Library Board, 100 Victoria Street

10.00 am - Registration
10.40 am - Book Launch
10.45 am - Panel Discussion
11.45 am - Network Tea

About the Moderator:
Dr Sharon Siddique is the Director of Sree Kumar Siddique & Co., a regional research consulting firm. Dr Siddique is a noted authority on Islam in Southeast Asia and has written extensively on social, cultural, and political developments in the region

About the Panelists:
Dr Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied is Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore. His research interests include Colonial History, the History of Ideas, Ethnic Minorities and Social Identities

Mr Alfian Sa’at is a writer, poet, and a playwright. He is is currently the resident playwright of theatre group Wild Rice He is currently enrolled for an undergraduate course at the School of Communication and Information at NTU

Mr Alvin Tan is Founder and Artistic Director of The Necessary Stage (TNS) and co-Artistic Director of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival. One of the leading proponents of devising theatre in Singapore. He has a BA from the National university of Singapore, a Diploma in Education from the Institute of Education, and an MA from the University of Birmingham.

Ms Rizwana Begum is the author of the chapter titled “Singapore Youth and Internet-Mediated Muslim Identities: Negotiating with Traditional Authority”. She is a former broadcast journalist and an avid researcher. Her sociological research focuses on the Malays in Singapore. In particular, she examined the entrepreneurial activities amongst Singapore Malays and the diverse understandings of Islam held by the same community.

About the Book:
This collection of essays by young Malay/Muslims provides a refreshing, if somewhat provocative, alternative to the views that currently permeate the local Malay/Muslim community. The sometimes self-critical, yet always constructive, reflections, sample the psyche and the thought processes of young members of minority group in a heterogeneous society. They straddle ideas on the effects of Islamic extremism and radicalism; the implication and the utility of the internet; the impact of the environment on Islamic Thought and Practices; the current state of Muslim women activism; the critical need for inter-racial interaction; the urgency to emphasize education and scientific understanding; the future role of Malay/Muslim Youth Activism in Singapore. Crucially, the essays ask how young Malay/Muslims should develop a religious and a cultural identity alongside a Singaporean urban identity.

About the Theme:
“Creativity and Criticism: Unveiling Ironies”
Being talented and non-confrontational, Singaporean Muslim youths may adopt creative means to communicate their worldview and aspirations. In doing so, they may redefine ‘creativity’ and ‘criticism’. Would the State welcome the adoption of creativity for other ends rather than its own material end? Would the Muslim community be ready for non-mainstream modes of criticism such as satire, parody, or blasphemes? More importantly, can an uncritical mind be a creative and a Muslim one?

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