International Forum Series 3: Extremism in Our Backyard


Sisters in Islam (SIS) and Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU Malaysia) are pleased to invite you to join Forum Series 3 of the International Public Forum on “Extremism in Our Backyard (Ekstremisme di Tanah Kita)“.

In this session we are going to discuss on-the-ground reality pertaining hate speech, blasphemy and religious intolerance in our Nusantara society. We are going to explore the legal perspective in which how our laws treat hate speech, freedom of expression, insult of religion and blasphemy. We are also going to discuss sociological perspectives of hate speech, how people can commit hate speech, and what impacts that hate speech causes.

To explore further, we are bringing in real case study of how blasphemy and hate speech is treated by law and on the ground by the society as well as the hate speech phenomenon especially during the incident of blasphemy. Furthermore, other factors such as the impact of social media are also going to be discussed in this session.


Rozana Isa, Sisters in Islam, Malaysia


Dr. Ananthi Al Ramiah, Dataluminescence Research, Malaysia

Dr Ananthi Al Ramiah is a social psychologist and Director of Dataluminescence Research in Kuala Lumpur, which is a research house providing data-driven clarity and nuance to complex social challenges. She was the principal investigator and lead author for the study sponsored by CIMB Foundation in 2017 (“Ethnoreligious Integration: Overcoming Challenges and Maximising the Promise of Multicultural Malaysia”), and the study undertaken by Merdeka Centre in 2018 (“Religious Extremism in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand: Prevalence, Narratives and Contributory Factors”). In general, Ananthi works in the areas of inter-ethnic/inter-religious relations, education policy related to questions of ethnic and national integration, multiculturalism, prejudice-reduction, and most recently, religious extremism. Her work has appeared in international journals such as American Psychologist and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She also writes opinion pieces for Malaysian newspapers. She has a PhD from the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford.

Dr. Mukhriz Mat Rus, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Mukhriz obtained LL.B (Hons) in 2007 from the International Islamic University of Malaysia, and later LL.M from the National University of Malaysia in 2014. He completed his PhD degree at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds, the United Kingdom in 2019. His PhD research was about the use of criminal law and criminal justice system in countering terrorism in Malaysia. Mukhriz served at the Attorney General’s Chambers as Deputy Public Prosecutor from 2008 to 2015. As an alter ego of the Public Prosecutor, he had conducted criminal trials and perused investigation papers. He left the public legal service to join Universiti Utara Malaysia in 2015. Mukhriz occasionally writes articles relating to criminal justice and terrorism in Malaysian newspapers for public awareness.

Dr. Syafiq Hasyim, International Indonesian Islamic University, Indonesia

Dr. Syafiq is a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He is also a lecturer and director of the Library and Cultural Center at International Indonesian Islamic University (UII), a newly established state international university in Indonesia. He obtained MA in Islamic Studies from Leiden University and Phd in Islamic Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies from Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universitaet, Berlin. His latest publications include “Fatwa and Democracy: Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI, Council of Indonesia Ulama) and the Rising Conservatism of Indonesian Islam”, published in TRaNS: Trans-Regional and National Studies of Southeast Asia, 2019, “The Secular and the Religious: Secularization and Shariatisation in Indonesia,” in Religious, Secularism and Democracy in Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press, 2019), edited by Prof. Vidhu Verma, and “Religious Pluralism Revisited: Discursive Patterns of the Ulama Fatwa in Indonesia and Malaysia, published in Studia Islamika, Vol 26, No. 3 (2019).

*For your information, Forum Series 3 will be conducted in English and Malay.