Global Shi'a diaspora


Malaysian Shi'ites Lonely Struggle

May 31, 2021

Mohd Faizal Musa, a Project Associate, published an academic paper in the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations. where he looks into Malaysian Shi’ites lonely struggle to demand their rights and how the religious edict and policies contradict to Malaysia’s commitment at the international level.

Find the full paper ...

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2021 Apr 05

Symposium on Diversity and Unity in Transnational Shi'ism

Mon Apr 5 (All day) to Thu Apr 8 (All day)


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The Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs is proud to host a landmark international symposium entitled “Diversity and Unity in Transnational Shi’ism” over four days (April 5-8, 2021).

This symposium brings together interdisciplinary voices from across various interpretations of Shi'a Islam in both contemporary and historical contexts with leading scholars in the field who study the diversity of Shi’a thought and communities across...

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Mohd Faizal Musa. 2020. “Shia Influence in the Axiology of Malay Culture.” International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology, 17, 1, Pp. 99-119. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Over the years, there are various research on cultural development seen from socio-historical perspective. The uniqueness of Islam in Malay region as it is diverse and open to outside influences is important to be look at; as it differs greatly from “the Islam” that have been practiced in the Middle East. Based on the discussions, the ulemas or Muslim clerics of this region and the Malays themselves have already practiced the supra-madhhab model as proposed by many contemporary scholars. Using Shia influences in the Malay culture, this paper attempt to show how sectarianism within Islam was never entertained by the Muslims in this region. In fact, Shi‟ism was so embedded in Malay culture. Although being dominated by Sunnism, most of the Shia doctrines and pillars were widely accepted and embraced. The axiology of Shi‟ism in Malay culture reflected in many religious texts, classical literature and cultural events. However, as sectarianism rising in this region, the Shia influence and its axiology slowly eroded and were victimized by unnecessary foreign interventions.
Mohd Faizal Musa. 2020. “Sunni-Shia Reconciliation in Malaysia.” In Alternative Voices in Muslim Southeast Asia: Discourses and Struggles. Singapore: ISEAS.Abstract

Book cover
The 1996 fatwa [recognizing "Sunni Islam" as the official religion of Malaysia] was a pivotal turning point that paved the way for subsequent efforts at "othering" the Shia minority, and through this to discredit and deny them their human rights. That the fatwa was a federal initiative--rather than a state one--ought to have raised warning bells about the central government overstapping its boundaries and encroaching on to the jurisdiction state governments had over Islam. The debate touched on the historical differences between the Sunnis and Shias, or, "sects being treated as religious phenomenon", and it resulted in tremendous bias against the Shias.

Islamic Center of America, Dearborn Workshop

Islamic Center of America, Dearborn Workshop

September 28, 2019
Project Director Dr. Payam Mohseni and Associate Mohammad Sagha conducted a series of youth workshops entitled “Shi’ism in America” at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, MI. The interactive workshops expanded upon several themes including pluralism within Islam and how to approach interfaith dialogue within the framework of Shi’i Islam. Dr. Payam Mohseni and Mohammad Sagha also discussed Shi'a-Sunni relations and sectarian de-escalation and how Muslim-Americans can engage with greater American civil society.
Seyed Ammar Nakhjavani. 8/2/2018. “Three Messages for World Humanitarian Day 2018.” JustGiving Blog. Publisher's VersionAbstract
World Humanitarian Day, which takes place on 19th of August every year is a reminder for us to appreciate those who serve others, and to value the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises. As a global Goodwill Ambassador for the Zahra Trust, a UK based charity (which enjoys a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations), I am privileged to be able to work in support of the charity’s various humanitarian initiatives as I travel to deliver lectures around the world throughout the year.