Syed Farid Alatas is Associate Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He previously headed the Department of Malay Studies at NUS from 2007 to 2013, and lectured at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies prior to joining NUS. He obtained his PhD in sociology from Johns Hopkins University. His areas of interest are Islamic thought, the study of religion and reform, and intra- and inter-religious dialogue. His most recent books are Ibn Khaldun and Applying Ibn Khaldun. He is currently researching on the problem of Muslim extremism, with a focus on the so-called Salafi orientation. He also works on the related issue of sectarianism in Muslim societies and serves on the executive committee of UNESCO’s International Sociological Association. Alatas has authored and edited numerous books, including Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science: Responses to Eurocentrism and Democracy and Authoritarianism in Indonesia and Malaysia: The Rise of the Post-Colonial State.