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Tarikh: 31 Oktober 2016 (Isnin)
Masa: 10.30 pagi - 12.30 tgh
Tempat: Bilik Mesyuarat KITA, Aras 4, Bangunan Pentadbiran Kolej Keris Mas, UKM, Bangi


Alternative medicine and is often controversial, and many consider practitioners like bomohs, spirit mediums, herbal specialists, acupuncturists, or chiropractors as quacks. Reasons range from their incompatibility with modernity, to the success that powerful interests have manipulated public opinion that their pharmaceutical products are the most reliable treatment. This paper explores alternative diagnoses to social problems in Muslim Southeast Asia where the words “Islam”, “Islamic”, and “Islamist” appear in both diagnoses of causes and prescriptions for cures. I make the case for placing more emphasis on “Muslims”, and less on Islam. Furthermore, in today’s hyper-connected ummah, a broad – and widening – range of Muslims and “Islams” exist in Southeast Asia. My specific interest is in the analysis of social problems in Thailand’s Malay-dominated far-southern provinces, and this paper reiterates arguments that (tantalising) mono-causal myths must be discredited and replaced by approaches attentive to multicausality. As most things happen for more than one reason, religious ailments are one of a number of factors that have contributed to social problems. In South Thailand, others include political instability, Malay language loss, and widespread social disintegration. Doctrinal medicine and religious institutions may, therefore, represent only one part of the alternative medicine to cure the social ills plaguing Muslim Southeast Asia.