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Yearly Archive2014

Visit | Dr Wesam Al-Madhoun, Islamic University of Gaza







Visit | Professor Usamah Mohamed

Visit - Dr Usama - 01

Visit - Dr Usama - 02

Visit - Dr Usama - 03

Visit - Dr Usama - 04

Visit - Dr Usama - 05

Visit - Dr Usama - 06

Kyoto Forum

Kyoto Forum | May 2014

Kyoto University, Japan

The forum was attended by one of our PhD students, Hassan Shakeel Shah








Confirmed Speakers for SICON 4

Updated 27th Sept 2014

The confirmed speakers for our upcoming SICON 4 event are as follows:

 Keynote Speakers

  1. Professor Dr Tariq Ramadan (Oxford University, UK)
  2. Tan Sri Professor Dr Mohd Kamal Hassan (IIUM, Malaysia)
  3. Professor Usamah Mohamed bin Mohamaed Hassan Elabed (Turkey)


Other Speakers

  1. Professor Dr Zaid Ahmad, (University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia)
  2. Associate Professor Dr Kamar Oniah (ISTEC, IIUM Malaysia)
  3. Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar (SOASCIS, UBD, Brunei Darussalam)
  4. Pg Dr Norhazlin Pg Hj Muhammad (SOASCIS, UBD, Brunei Darussalam)
  5. Associate Professor Dr Jabal M Buaben (SOASCIS, UBD, Brunei Darussalam)
  6. Associate Professor Mulyadhi Kartanegara (SOASCIS, UBD, Brunei Darussalam)
  7. Professor Dr Mahyuddin Yahya (UNISSA, Brunei Darussalam)
  8. Associate Professor Dr Ejaz Akram (University of Management, Pakistan)
  9. Professor Mesut Idriz (International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia)
  10. Associate Professor Dr Jonathan Brown (Georgetown University, USA)
  11. Professor Hamza Ates (Istanbul Medeniyet University, Turkey)
  12. Professor Waleed al-Ansary (Xavier University, USA)

Workshop | A Workshop Responding to Critiques of the Implementation of Sharia Penal Code in Brunei Darussalam

A Workshop Responding to Critiques of the Implementation of Sharia Penal Code in Brunei Darussalam

Background, Rationale, and Objectives of the Workshop



Date: 15th May 2014/15th Rejab 1435

Time: 8.30 am – 4.30 pm

Venue: Senate Room Universiti Brunei Darussalam


1.      Background


Brunei Darussalam’s historic October 2013 decision to introduce a new Sharia Penal Code and phase out its implementation and enforcement beginning on May 1st, 2014 has invited a range of responses and criticisms from numerous international bodies, groups, and organisations. These responses and criticisms found a ready coverage in the world media, both printed and electronic. In the non-Muslim world, especially in the West, the majority of the respondents are opposed to the Penal Code. Even among Muslims, there are not just a few groups and individuals who have openly criticized and declared their opposition to the implementation of Islamic criminal laws. However, among ordinary Muslims if not also among the more educated segments of the Muslim community, the majority of them strongly support the Sharia Penal Code. This majority group of Muslim citizens welcomes and praises the courage and the resoluteness of the government of His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam to hold fast to the decision to enforce the new Sharia laws amidst loud criticisms and strong opposition from many quarters in the international community.


There are also many individuals and quarters adopting the position of supporting the implementation of one part of the Penal Code while rejecting the necessity of the other part. Then there are those Muslims in various parts of the world who are supportive of the implementation of the Sharia Panel Code and would like to see it succeed but for several reasons have doubts about its successful outcome. Generally, however, we may account for three types of responses to Brunei Darussalam’s New Sharia Penal Code. The first response comes out fully supportive of the Code. The second is one of a total opposition against it. The third response is partly supportive of the Code and partly against it.



2.      Rationale

As to be expected and as anticipated by His Majesty the Sultan himself, at first with the announcement of intention to introduce it and later with the confirmation to proceed with its implementation and enforcement, the Penal Code has unleashed a mixed torrent of praises and criticisms and expressions of support and opposition, though criticisms and oppositions tend to eclipse praises and supports. It is always the case that whenever a Muslim society or nation declares its intention to implement Sharia laws, more so when it actually implements them, voices of opposition could be heard loud and clear. The case of Brunei Darussalam’s Sharia Penal Code is no exception. For those Muslims who are deeply committed to the implementation of Sharia laws in their entirety it is important to realise that in the context of our present times when the media commands such a wide influence its negative coverage of these laws can have an adverse effect on their implementation. It is therefore imperative for Brunei Darussalam to take stock of these negative responses and criticisms, monitor the tide of opposition to the Penal Code, assess and evaluate their possible impact on the overall implementation of the Code, and provide concrete and effective responses to these critiques and oppositions. This small workshop represents a humble attempt by UBD to contribute to a better understanding of these critiques and oppositions.  


3.      Objectives

(a)      To compile all available reactions to and critiques of the implementation of Brunei Darussalam’s 2013 Sharia Penal Code;

(b)    To understand the thinking behind each reaction to and each critique of this Penal Code, especially the thinking of those groups who are bitterly opposed to it;

(c)     To identify the challenges posed by these critiques that can have an adverse effect on the enforcement of the Penal Code;

(d)    To contribute ideas that can help the government effectively deal with the forces critical of and opposed to the implementation of the Code;

(e)     To undertake a detailed and long-term study of the development of critiques of the Penal Code along academic lines to complement efforts by other groups;







Visit | A Roundtable Discussion with Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

2014-04-19 17.30.02

2014-04-19 17.31.41

2014-04-19 17.33.52-2

2014-04-19 17.36.15-2

2014-04-19 17.39.54


Associate Professor Dr Jabal Buaben

Website - 50Associate Professor Dr Jabal M. Buaben began his academic career as a trained teacher and underwent a Programme of Study for a Specialist Certificate in the Teaching of Science and later worked as a Science Education Organiser within the Ministry of Education in the Berekum District of Ghana. With underlying interest in Religious Studies, he obtained his B.A [Hons.] Dip. Ed. Degree from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, specialising in Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion. He pursued his MA and PhD in the University of Birmingham, U.K., in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, then later taught for nine years at the International Islamic University, Malaysia. He joined the Faculty at the University of Birmingham in 1996 and was the Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, for four years. Jabal taught at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate MA levels and supervised 24 Doctoral Research Degrees in Islamic Studies and Theology at the University of Birmingham.


He has been involved in public lectures on Islam in countries including: The United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, The Seychelles, The Philippines and South Africa. He has also attended and given papers at many International Conferences / Seminars especially in the field of Islamic Studies, Interfaith/ Intercultural Dialogue and Religion and Science.


Membership of Academic organisations: Association of Muslim Social Scientists [U.K.]; Science and Religion Forum [U.K.]; The Shap Working Committee on World Religions and Education [U.K.]; The Interfaith Network [U.K.]  1998 -2008; Christian-Muslim Forum under the auspices of the Archbishop of Canterbury, London, 2007 – 2009; Board Member of the Standing Conference of Jews, Christians and Muslims in Europe for Inter-Religious Dialogue[JCM]  1998 – to date.


Areas of Interest in Teaching, Research and Graduate Research Supervision include:

  • Islamic Studies, [Especially in the areas of the Seerah and Islamic Da‘wah],
  • Religion and Science, Interfaith / Intercivilizational Dialogue, and African Traditional Religious Thought.


Contact detail:

Email: jabal.buaben@ubd.edu.bn
Ext: 2823
Room No: 2.23

Faculty Seminar | FASS | Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar

Website - 48

Visit | Professor Dr Mehmet Asutay

Professor Dr Mehmet Asutay, Director of the Durham Centre for Islamic, who was in Brunei Darussalam attending the conference on Islamic Finance, paid a visit to SOASCIS on 27th of March 2014. To receive him was Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, Director and Chair Professor of SOASCIS, and Associate Professor Dr Jabal Buaben, academic staff of SOASCIS.

Website - 44

Website - 46

Website - 47

Meeting | Visitors from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

SOASCIS welcome 3 visitors from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan on the 22nd of March 2014. Professor Seiji Shinbata, the  Secretary General of AAIS, Professor Masahiro Uehara of Kagawa University, and his spouse Mrs Masahiro Uehara.

The purpose of their visit to our Centre was to invite SOASCIS to be part of Annual Conference Series on Asian Islam Studies, proposed to be held in October this year.

Present to greet the visitors was Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, Director and Chair Professor of SOASCIS. SOASCIS’ academic staff and graduate students attended the meeting as well.

Visit from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

Visit from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

Visit from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

Visit from AAIS-Kagawa University, Japan

Prof. Osman Bakar presenting souvenir to Prof. Seiji Shinbata

Prof. Osman Bakar presenting souvenir to Prof. Seiji Shinbata

Prof. Osman Bakar presenting souvenir to Professor Masahiro Uehara

Prof. Osman Bakar presenting souvenir to Professor Masahiro Uehara

SICON 4 | November 2014

Updated: 26th May 2014

Fourth SOASCIS International Conference (SICON 4) 

Dates: 3rd – 5th November 2014/10-12 Muharram 1435

Venue: Senate Room, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD)

Theme: The Teaching of Islamic Civilisation in Today’s Universities and Colleges:

               A Review for New Strategic Educational Goals



Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), UBD
International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Centre for Civilisation Studies, Istanbul Medeniyet University,Turkey
Faculty of Human Ecology, University Putra Malaysia (UPM)
ISTAC, International Islamic University, Malaysia (IIUM)
Faculty of Islamic Civilisation, University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM) 
Oxford University, UK 



Islamic civilisation is still a widely taught subject in universities and colleges in the Islamic world despite a decline of intellectual and academic concern with the subject in its higher institutions of higher learning. It is either taught as an independent subject or a complete module or as part of another subject, particularly Islamic history. In some universities and colleges Islamic civilisation is taught as a compulsory subject or module to all students, including non-Muslims, which they must also pass in order to graduate.

Of late, both the usefulness and the effectiveness of university and college courses on Islamic civilisation have been increasingly questioned within the academic community as well as by members of the public, although overall support for such courses is still strong. In the light of this development, it would be a good idea if the teaching of Islamic civilisation in universities and colleges is thoroughly reviewed with respect to its objectives, content or curriculum, and pedagogy or teaching methods with the view of making it more effective and attractive to students.    

SOASCIS and its co-organisers share the belief that rightly taught and emphasized the subject of Islamic civilisation can offer many intangible benefits to students regardless of their religion, especially to the enhancement of their creative thinking and intellectual outlook. SOASCIS in particular, which since January 2014 has been entrusted with the task of teaching a one-semester compulsory module to all students of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), looks upon this historic task as both a challenge and an opportunity to advance teaching and research in the area of Islamic civilisation in institutions of higher learning.  

Objectives of SICON 4    

To review the current teaching of Islamic civilisation in universities, colleges and schools with respect to its content and teaching methods;
To formulate new goals and strategies in the teaching of Islamic civilisation with the view of making it more effective and beneficial to contemporary Muslim societies;
To help make the living nature of Islamic civilisation better understood and appreciated and its lasting contributions to human civilisation better known, especially to non-Muslims;
To provide a platform for scholars, teachers and students of Islamic civilisation to exchange views and experiences on how best to popularise the subject of Islamic civilisation in their respective institutions and communities;
To help advance the cause of Islamic civilisational review in the 21st century.


Paper Presenters

A number of distinguished international and national speakers and paper presenters are invited to deliver their presentations on topics that have been respectively specifically assigned to them. Others interested in presenting papers are most welcome to do so, but the topics of their papers should clearly pertain to one of the above objectives of the Conference.

Deadlines for Submission of Abstracts and Final Papers

All abstracts of conference papers and biodata of paper writers in not more than 200 words should be emailed to the SICON Secretariat the latest by 15th September 2014 and full papers by 15th October 2014. Please email abstracts, biodata, and full papers to sicon.soascis@ubd.edu.bn

Registration Fees




Domestic participants

BND 300

Domestic presenters

BND 250

Domestic students

BND 100

International participants

USD 300

International presenters

USD 250

International students

USD 200



 Please click here: Registration Form – SICON 4 |For programme of the SICON conference: Programme – 02


Post Conference Seminar | AP Dr Jabal Buaben

“Faith Commitment and Academic Integrity – Are They Incompatible?”


Associate Professor Dr Jabal Buaben

Lecturer, SOASCIS 


AP Dr Jabal during the Post-Conference Seminar

AP Dr Jabal during the Post-Conference Seminar

Attendees at the Post Conference Seminar

Attendees at the Post Conference Seminar


The general non-Muslim perception of Islam and Muslims in our contemporary Global Village leaves much to be desired.

In the aggressive secular constituency, faith, and Islam for that matter, seems to be seen as an impediment to Sound, Critical, Objective and Fair scholarly discourse.

Science and Religion /Theology are often seen as at loggerheads with each other and hence, the latter, has no contribution to make to the excellent strides humankind is making in Science and Education, in general.

This paper is an attempt to question this perception and affirm that religion qua religion , has crucial values that, instead of impinging on Critical, Objective, Dispassionate and Fair Scholarship, rather seek to promote it. After all, there is a lot of evidence in history that many renowned scholars in all fields of human endeavour had affiliations with Theology as well.