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Ramli Ibrahim dances through arts, religion and politics

INTERVIEW | The emphasis on our humanity needs to comprehensively be incorporated into our education system and into our day to day life, said Indian classical dancer Ramli Ibrahim.

An accomplished dancer and trainer, the Kajang-born Ramli established his Sutra Dance Theatre in 1983.

In a recent interview, he spoke about the obstacles he faced as a Malay Muslim, problems in getting federal or state funds for Indian dance productions and the influence of national politics on arts and culture.

In fixing arts and culture in 2020, you wrote: “Taking away the extremist and sometimes confusing Islamic factors out of our arts and culture policies and doing away with some Islamic religious requirements.” How did these factors influence your journey as a young artist, and how do they influence young artists today?

As a Malay Muslim who has made Indian classical dance not only his vocation but also his lifetime pursuit, I have encountered my share of flak and obstacles from various Islamic agencies and some of the more religious members of the Muslim community.

Personally, I have never thought my involvement in Indian classical dance was a problem with being a Muslim. In actual fact...

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