The Politics of Islam

Nik Aziz Nik Mat doesn't look like a man out to fundamentally change Malaysia. Each day, after late-afternoon prayers, the 72-year-old Islamic cleric musters the little strength left in his frail frame to open clunky wooden doors to a sitting room in his tile-roofed, six-room home, a rebuilt version of the one in which he grew up. There, dressed in a beige robe and white turban, a tuft of a beard protruding from his chin, he hosts a menagerie of visitors seeking religious guidance, marriage advice and emotional support. One worried man, huddled with...

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