This chapter begins with an introductory section which sets out some of the uncertainties concerning the concept and definition of an Islamic State, a brief history of developments, and a literature review. The remaining part of the discussion focuses on the salient attributes of an Islamic state: whether the Islamic state proposes a limited as opposed to a totalitarian government, whether it can be characterized as a civili state as opposed to a theocracy, and whether it would be justified to characterize the Islamic state as a qulified democracy. The last section of this paper briefly addreses the lslamist demand for the establishment of Islamic state, and some comments on recent developments in Malaysia. What is attempted here is a selective account of some of the characteristic features of an Islamic state and does not claim to be exhaustive.
in ed. K.S. Nathan & Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Islam in Southeast Asia: Political, Social and Strategic Challenges for the 21st Century, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005, pp 278-298.