Book review

The Politics of Religion and Constitutionalism in Asia — Dian A.H. Shah, Constitutions, Religion, and Politics in Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)

In April 2019, a series of suicide bombs surprised global communities due to unpredictable terror perpetrated by a radical minority group in Sri Lanka. Prior to this tragic event, a sequence of terror actions based on religious hatred has occurred in Indonesia and other countries in the South and Southeast Asia region. Religious terrorism is one of the severe problems within the state–religion relationship in this region. By the same token, persecutions of religious minority groups by religious majority groups have increased in recent decades. In Asia, religion remains the primary category to distinguish peoples in the public sphere, as it plays an important role in social and political lives.

Establishing proper legal arrangements to guarantee religious freedom has been an enigma in state formation in Asia. The contention between religious and secular states is a perennial question that has not gained a definitive answer. Through her book, Dian A. H. Shah invites readers on an intellectual course to understand the dynamics of the relationship between religion and the state, especially the discourse of the rule of law, democracy, and constitutional protection of religious freedom. In this respect, Shah presents a comprehensive description and robust analysis on religious freedom in societal life,regulatory arrangement, its examination through the court decision, and its force in electoral mechanism (p. 13).

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For more detail: Asian Journal of Law and Society,Volume 6 – Issue 2 – November 2019. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/asian-journal-of-law-and-society/latest-issue

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