Conversion to Islam: The case of the Dusun ethnic group in Brunei Darussalam
thesisposted on 01.11.2011, 16:28 by Asiyah az-Zahra Ahmad Kumpoh
A literature review on the conversion studies reveals that most models of religious conversion postulate Christian-centric and western-centric perspectives. One of these models is the seven-stage Rambo Model. This study’s main objective is to critically engage the Rambo Model in exploring the conversion process of the Dusun Muslim converts in Brunei Darussalam and to answer the first research question that seeks to find out the actual definitions of the conversion stages as how they had been typically experienced by the converts. The model’s framework is further tested by the second research question which aims to identify the determinant that explains the variations and similarities found in the stage sequence of the conversion process of the Dusun Muslim converts in comparison to those occurring in different religious settings. Drawing on the qualitative data obtained through interviews and the utilisation of relevant literature, the case study of the Dusun Muslim converts confirms the cultural specificity issue inherent in the Rambo Model. Some theoretical changes were suggested where a new concept of contextual components and of culture-free definitions of the stages were added to the model’s framework. This modified version of the Rambo Model was found to be effective in demonstrating that the actual definitions of the conversion stages of the Dusun Muslim converts are unique and distinctly specific, principally due to the effects of Brunei’s majority-religion context. The theoretical changes of the model were also useful in explaining the variations and similarities in the stage order of conversion process occurring in different religious settings. Thus, by presenting a non-Christian and non-western case study of religious conversion, this study concludes that a more generic version of the Rambo Model can actually be formulated and be utilised by future research undertakings.