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Some Insights into the Impacts of the Islamic Education on the Non-Muslims in Brunei Darussalam

Asiyah az-Zahra Ahmad Kumpoh

Abstract


ABSTRACT: This paper aims to analyse the extent at which the non-Muslims in Brunei Darussalam identify with MIB or “Melayu Islam Beraja” (Malay Islamic Monarchy), the national philosophy of the country, by investigating the impacts of the Islamic education on the Dusun Muslim converts before their conversion to Islam. The traditionally, animistic Dusuns is one of the constitutionally recognised ethnic groups in the country and is strongly represented in Tutong District. This paper argues that the Dusuns had developed a strong sense of recognition towards Islam, even before their conversion; and this is significantly the result of the decades-long incorporation of the Islamic knowledge into the national education system. The recognition could be seen from the considerable depth of the Islamic knowledge they acquired, where such operative understanding of Islam simultaneously facilitated mutual emulation of Muslim ways of life. As the mutual emulation was also bolstered by the increasing breakdown of social and cultural boundaries between the Dusuns and the Muslims in the country, the informants of this study began to see the appeals and benefits of Islam as a religious system. Such re-appraisal of the religion, eventually led them to forsake their ethnic religion and convert to Islam, a significant step forward in forging a closer identification with the official religion of the country and ultimately with Brunei’s national philosophy.

KEY WORDS: Malay Islamic Monarchy, Islamic education, Brunei’s education policies, the role of education, the Dusuns, and religious conversion.

About the Author: Dr. Asiyah az-Zahra Ahmad Kumpoh is a Senior Lecturer at the History Program, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences UBD (University of Brunei Darussalam), Jalan Tunku Link, Gadong, Negara Brunei Darussalam. For academic purposes, she can be contacted vis her e-mail at: asiyah.kumpoh@ubd.edu.bn

How to cite this article? Kumpoh, Asiyah az-Zahra Ahmad. (2014). “Some Insights into the Impacts of the Islamic Education on the Non-Muslims in Brunei Darussalam” in TAWARIKH: International Journal for Historical Studies, Vol.5(2) April, pp.161-176. Bandung, Indonesia: ASPENSI [Asosiasi Sarjana Pendidikan Sejarah Indonesia] and UVRI [Universitas Veteran Republik Indonesia], ISSN 2085-0980.

Chronicle of the article: Accepted (February 18, 2014); Revised (March 19, 2014); and Published (April 28, 2014).


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References


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Personal communication with informant A, one of the Dusun Muslim converts, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 9th July 2009.

Personal communication with informant B, one of the Dusun Muslim converts, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 16th July 2009.

Personal communication with informant C, one of the Dusun non-Muslim, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 19th July 2009.

Personal communication with informant D, one of the 23-years old Dusun student at the secondary school, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 25th July 2009.

Personal communication with informant E, one of non-Muslim school teachers, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 2nd August 2009.

Personal communication with informant F, one of 44-years old non-Muslim municipal staff, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 2nd August 2009.

Personal communication with informant G, one of 37-years-old teacher of Dusun Muslim converts, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 5th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant H, one of the Dusun non-Muslim, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 9th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant I, one of the Dusun non-Muslim, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 9th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant J, a Dusun housewife who converted to Islam in 1998, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 15th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant K, a 51 years-old welfare officer in 2003, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 15th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant L, a 39 years-old broadcasting officer who converted to Islam, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 20th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant M, one of the Dusun non-Muslim, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 25th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant N, one of the Dusun non-Muslim, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 25th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant O, a 41 years-old public relation officer who converted to Islam, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 29th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant P, a 51 years-old welfare officer who converted to Islam, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 29th August 2009.

Personal communication with informant Q, a 33 years-old Dusun, who is working with a government department that is responsible for supplying material for television documentaries, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 2nd September 2009.

Personal communication with informant R, a 53 years-old non-Muslim teacher at the secondary school and former student at the teachers’ training college, in Muara District, Brunei Darussalam, on 7th September 2009.

Personal communication with informant S, a 58 years-old army personnel who converted to Islam, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 15th September 2009.

Personal communication with informant T, a 55 years-old village head first learnt at primary school who converted to Islam, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 22nd September 2009.

Personal communication with informants U, 51 years-old Dusun male who converted to Islam, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 22nd September 2009.

Personal communication with informant V, a Dusun parent whose children attended and completed religious school in the 1990s, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 29th September 2009.

Personal communication with informant W, a 33 years-old school teacher who converted to Islam, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 29th September 2009.

Personal communication with informant X, a 57 years-old education officer who converted to Islam, in Tutong District, Brunei Darussalam, on 25th September 2009.

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