Dr Sharifah Nurul Huda Alkaff



DR. SHARIFAH NURUL HUDA ALKAFF is a Senior Assistant Professor and Programme Leader in the English Studies Programme of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). She teaches linguistics and communication modules. Her research interests include media discourse analysis and investigating issues revolving around language, gender and the media. She has published in a number of international journals in these areas. Her past research projects included investigating the construction of hard news texts in Malay and English language newspapers in Brunei and Malaysia. She has also conducted research on relationship advice columns in women’s magazines in three different cultural contexts. She hopes to produce more research investigating the intersections of Islam, gender and the media.


BA (Nebraska-Lincoln, USA)
Dip Ed (UM)
MEd (UM)
PhD (Curtin, Australia)


Media and discourse, Language and gender


Amar makruf dan nahi mungkar: Policing the personal morality of Muslim celebrities in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Western celebrity culture is often perceived to be synonymous with permissive and decadent moral values. This culture, which is often portrayed as a global one, do not always resonate with the authorities in non-Western contexts. The recent crackdown on the behavior of celebrities in China and India is testimony to this effort to curb perceived decay in the personal morality of celebrities and social media influencers in these two countries. In Southeast Asian Muslim societies, Muslim celebrities are increasingly expected to conform to strict Islamic religious moral codes. The policing of these celebrities come not from the state but from the public as seen from the social media comments on Muslim celebrities in Malaysia and Indonesia. This paper aims to investigate how the public projects its moral policing on these celebrities under the guise of the concept of amar makruf dan nahi mungkar, derived from Quranic verses that advocate doing things that God commanded and forbidding humans to do things that are prohibited in accordance with Islamic teachings. In addition, this paper will also examine the prevailing discourses that emerge from the comments in order to understand the beliefs and mindset of contemporary Muslims in Malaysia and Indonesia. Data, obtained from netizens’ comments on Instagram and Facebook, will be analysed using discourse analysis to identify the connections between language, religious identity and culture. The findings suggest that there is an increasingly conservative environment surrounding the public’s reactions towards these celebrities, especially in Malaysia. The public also appears to have taken over the role of the state Islamic authorities in controlling expressions of individuality and imposing a monolithic form of Islamic identity in these two countries.

Applications Invited


Academic papers in journals and book projects.


• Examiner for International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) English Language Examination (Brunei DCA). [2014- present].
• Facilitator, English Language Enrichment for ASEAN Integration Programme, Brunei-US English Language Project (2012-17).

Industry, Institute, or Organisation Collaboration

• Country Coordinator, The Asian African Association on Women, Gender, and Sexuality (AAAWGS), 2020-2024.
• Member of Editorial Board, International Journal of Crisis Communication (effective from Oct 2021).
• Governing Board Member, SEAMEO RELC, Singapore (2017-2019)
• Member of Editorial Board, South East Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UBD.
• Reviewer of academic articles submitted to other journals. Among these are journals published by Elsevier, Sage and Springer.
• Reviewer, Leading Fellows, Postdocs Programmes, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, June 2018.
• International Reviewer, Society, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Bangka Belintung, Indonesia (2019- current).
• International Reviewer, rEFLections: KMUTT journal of language education. King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand (2017- current).


Adds to knowledge in the field.