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The influence of Islamic political ideology on the design of state mosques in West Malaysia (1957-2003)

Ismail, Alice S. (2008) The influence of Islamic political ideology on the design of state mosques in West Malaysia (1957-2003). .

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Abstract

This research begins with the assumption that the political ideology of Malaysian leaders influences the design of state mosques and seeks to investigate the relationship between Malaysian leaders political ideas of Islam and their influence on the design of state mosques in Malaysia. Even though studies undertaken of state mosque in other Muslim countries show a relationship between state mosque and politics, there are no studies that describe the influence of politics on the state mosques in Malaysia. To date, the research on the state mosque in Malaysia focuses on six main aspects: these are descriptions of the state mosque in regard to its historical development; documentation of the state mosque in the form of measured drawings; classification of state mosque styles; theory for designing the state mosque based on religious sources; discussion on the technical aspects of the state mosque design; and discourse on the role and function of the state mosque in relation to social aspects. In contrast, the aim of this research is to determine: How are the leaders political ideas of Islam expressed through the design of state mosques in West Malaysia? A case study approach as defined by Yin (2003) was applied. Evidence for the case studies has been collected from archival records to gather data regarding political development and building policy which relates to three prominent leaders in Malaysia –Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Mahathir Mohamad - while on-site observation, state mosque documents and interview were methods to collect evidence for three state mosques in Malaysia, which are the National Mosque, Penang State Mosque and Putra Mosque. Since this research deals with specific interpretations of the state mosque as a social-physical phenomenon and the need to understand how the structural relationship exists between the state mosques and social culture, a multi-disciplinary logic of inquiry combining the interpretive and structuralist paradigms was adopted. In association, a framework incorporating both semiotics and hermeneutics were developed to analyse, firstly, the symbolic meaning embedded in the design of the state mosques and their mundane settings and, secondly, to reveal the leaders intentions and associated actions during the creation of the state mosques. An analysis of the data exposed that there is a dialectic relationship between the leaders and the design of the state mosque in the period of post-independence in Western Malaysia. The investigation of the three state mosques also suggested that the political ideas of Islam as propounded by Malaysian leaders have a profound effect on determining the design of the state mosque. This study, therefore, offers new insights, which not only add to knowledge in this field by widening and strengthening the understanding of political and architectural historical theory in Malaysia, but also are valuable for range of associated fields including architectural semiotics and non verbal communication. This is because this research reveals deep understandings of the built form and material environment operating as a sign in a cultural and social context.

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ID Code: 19371
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Smith, Dianne, Kumarasuriyar, Anoma, Trocki, Carl, & Mohamad Rasdi, Mohamad
Keywords: state mosque, West Malaysia, political ideology, Islam, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Mahathir Mohamad, National Mosque, Penang State Mosque, Putra Mosque, semiotics, state mosque design
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 01 Apr 2009 13:13
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:52

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