International Journal for Muslim World Studies (IJMWS)

Formerly known as International Journal of Muslim Unity (IJMU)

Islam In Malaysian Foreign Policy: A Pragmatic Approach

Islam In Malaysian Foreign Policy: A Pragmatic Approach

Anidah Robani*

ABSTRACT

Malaysia can be classified as a Muslim country. With its Muslim majority and Islam as its official religion, Malaysia takes considerable pride for being part of the dynamic and progressive Islamic Ummah. Being part of the Ummah, Malaysia endeavors her utmost to manifest her concern and commitment to the Islamic principles of brotherhood and justice. The foreign policy of Malaysia may be said to be affected by Islam to a considerable degree.  Islam  also  plays  an  important  part  in  the national life, as it is closely linked to the ethnic identity of the politically dominant Malays. This paper, however, argues that Islam has never been an overriding factor in Malaysia’s support for Islamic issues. Malaysian’s role in  this  respect  was  largely  motivated  by  pragmatic considerations resulting from an interplay between various factors: political, economic, religious and humanitarian.