Fauwaz Abdul Aziz

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz

Research Group: The Bureaucratisation of Islam in its Socio-Legal Dimensions in Southeast Asia

Department Alte Welt und Asiatische Kulturen
Institute for Near Eastern and East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Room: Room 01.270
Henkestr. 91, Haus 8, 1. Stock
91052 Erlangen

Curriculum Vitae

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Near Eastern and East Asian Languages and Civilizations and affiliated researcher of the SDAC program. He is a member of the DFG-funded Emmy Noether Research Group ‘The Bureaucratization of Islam and its Socio-Legal Dimensions in Southeast Asia’ under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dominik Müller. Fauwaz is also an affiliated PhD researcher at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale), Sachsen-Anhalt.

Fauwaz’s PhD research investigates the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) – a government body mandated to serve and represent Muslims of the Philippines. He seeks to understand how the NCMF is bureaucratizing the discourse on Islam and Muslims. Focusing on the governance (including certification, standards and enforcement) and development (promotion and institutionalization) of the country’s halal (‘permissible’ according to Islamic teachings) food industry, Fauwaz’s research examines the ‘everyday politics’ of the Commission’s bureaucrats as the government and private sector aspire to promote, develop and institutionalize that industry in face of the growing domestic and global Muslim markets.

Fauwaz holds an MA degree in “Muslim World Issues” from the Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). Fauwaz’s award-winning MA thesis, ‘Islamic Economic Thought in Malaysia (1900–1980): Ideas, Setting, Interaction’, examined the economic ideas of religious scholars and intellectuals within the social, political and cultural context of their times.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in political science and Islamic studies at IIUM in 2001, Fauwaz taught history and geography at the secondary school level at a private religious school in Kuala Lumpur. He then worked as a journalist for a total of six years, during which time he covered a range of issues of social and political importance in Malaysia. Fauwaz left the Malaysian news portal Malaysiakini in 2011. In between his stints as a reporter and an editor, Fauwaz also worked in a research capacity for a number of non-governmental organizations. In 2012, he joined Third World Network (TWN), an international research and advocacy NGO, specializing in trade and investment agreements. While with TWN, Abdul Aziz also worked with the Malay Economic Action Council as its head of research on range of political-economic and socio-economic issues.

Research Interests and Memberships

Anthropology of Bureaucracy / Anthropology of Islam-Muslims / Asian Studies / Islam in Southeast Asia / Islamic Studies/Political Economy in Malaysia / Philippine Studies / Political Anthropology
    • Member, Association for Asian Studies (AAS)
    • Member, European Association of Southeast Asian Studies (EuroSEAS)


  • 11.2019 – present Instructor (Lehrauftrag), Seminar ‘Anthropology of Islam’ (B.A.-level), Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology (Seminar für Ethnologie), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
  • 27.06.2017 Guest lecture: ‘Analysis of the Tablighi Jamaat as a bureaucracy’ in “Anthropology of Bureaucracy“ (D. Müller) undergraduate class at Leipzig University, Germany
  • 2001-2003 Teacher at primary and secondary (O Levels) History and Geography, International Islamic School (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and Adni Islamic School (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)  


  • Encyclopedia entry (accepted, forthcoming in print in 2020): “Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia”, in Enyclopedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Leiden: Brill.
  • Encyclopedia entry (accepted, forthcoming in print in 2020): “Masjid Negara”, in Enyclopedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Leiden: Brill.
  • Advocacy on investment treaty negotiations: lessons from Malaysian civil society. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London. (2015)
  • In coordination with several other writers, report prepared for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Malaysia. The Bumiputera Socio-Economy: Its Current State and the Way Forward. Malay Economic Action Council: Kuala Lumpur. (August 2015)
  • With Mohd. Nizam Mahshar, Mohd. Rizal Jaapar, Aliff Basri, Azlan Awang. TPPA: Malaysia is not for Sale. Malay Economic Action Council: Kuala Lumpur. (2014)
  • “The Longest Year: Report on Malaysia.” Means and Ends: Social Watch Report. Instituto Del Tercer Mundo. Montevideo. (2014) Available at http://www.socialwatch.org/node/15866
  • Articles published by Third World Resurgence, a monthly magazine dedicated to issues relating to environment, development and the Third World and North-South issues:
  • “Privileging investors over the public interest.” Third World Resurgence, #275 (July 2013).
  • (With Meena Raman). “Durban Platform: Way forward on pre-2020 ambition”. Third World Resurgence, #269/270 (January/February 2013)
  • “Going nuclear? Malaysians voice concern over move.” Third World Resurgence. #259 (March 2012)