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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Islam, Politics, and Identity

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Hend Zaki 
Muslims in New Zealand and the Emergence of a Western Muslim Identity
The paper focuses on the identity of Muslims in New Zealand, specifically young Muslims born/raised in New Zealand aged 18-37 years old. The findings are based on a survey and semi-structured interviews that were carried out prior to the 15 March 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack.
The paper explores the identities constructed within the Muslim community in New Zealand, and it shows that there is an emergence of a Western Muslim identity among the younger generation of Muslim in New Zealand. The paper demonstrates how the younger generation of Muslims in New Zealand are approaching and practicing Islam in a way that is different from their parents and grandparents. In addition, the paper explores the challenges faced by Muslims in New Zealand as well as the opportunities and responsibilities.

Carmen Fulco
Political Islam on the eve of the Arab Spring

Beginning in December 2010, a wave of protests and civil unrest swept the Arab World culminating in toppling the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Democratization, ending corruption, reducing unemployment and halting human rights violations were among the core demands made on the streets by protestors. In this context, major Islamist political movements re-emerged on the Middle Eastern scene following decades of repression by Arab authoritarian regimes to spearhead these demands. In particular, two influential Islamist parties successfully gained significant popular support during the first round of election results in Tunisia and Egypt. Before outlining their objectives to the electors, these Islamist groups promptly re-established themselves as ‘independent’ political parties, and demonstrated that political Islam had adapted to some of the challenges presented by the concept of umma in the era of globalization. This stage in the evolution of political Islam – characterised by a complex interaction between certain Islamist parties and state bureaucracies, external actors, and domestic factors - inaugurated a phase of unprecedent political pragmatism whose traits will be considered in this paper.

Naimah Talib
The Politics of Islamization and Shari’a in Brunei

The Sultanate of Brunei has long institutionalized Islam in an attempt to enhance its legitimacy and entrench royal absolutism. Combined with this appeal to religion, Brunei has also provided extensive welfare programmes through the expeditious use of its oil revenue to support the legitimacy of the Sultan. The centrality of Islam in public life is evident in the promotion of Islamic financial institutions, the adoption of Islamic curricula in education, and the trend towards Islamic conservative values and religious piety. The top-down policy of Islamization since independence in 1984 is also seen in the gradual expansion and bureaucratisation of the administration of Islamic law or shari’a. The recent implementation of the Shari’a Penal Code Order (2013) was aimed to consolidate shari’a offences and introduce a comprehensive shari’a regime. However, the Shari’a Penal Code also signalled a major policy shift with the introduction of harsh punishments, such as flogging, amputation and stoning, for the first time in modern Brunei history. What prompted this change? While it may be argued that the expansion of shari’a is a natural outcome of the steady politicisation of Islam, the adoption of harsh shari’a punishments puts relationships with the West and Brunei’s neighbours at risk. We thus should look more carefully at underlying factors driving the shift to shari’a punishments, including the fears of lower state capacity, both to sustain generous welfare to citizens and to suppress opposition, as a result of declining oil revenue.


Khairu Sobandi

University of Canterbury



University of Otago

Naimah Talib

University of Canterbury
avatar for Hend Zaki

Hend Zaki

University of Auckland

Thursday November 28, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm NZDT
E14 Engineering Core

Attendees (9)