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Pak Tea House » Uncategorized » From Egypt to Tunisia – Towards A Politics of Post-Islamism and Post-Secularism

From Egypt to Tunisia – Towards A Politics of Post-Islamism and Post-Secularism

By AA Khalid

The terms ‘’post-Islamism’’ and ‘’post-secularism’’ are not my own constructs, rather Professor Bayat coined ‘’post-Islamism’’ and Jurgen Habermas coined ‘’post-secularism’’, but the interesting thing is that both constructs point towards a new means of democratic politics that has a liberalizing effect.

For years, the political orthodoxy has suggested that all religious political actors are necessarily autocratic and secular political actors are naturally more democratic. However, recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have completely forced us to reconsider the way we adopt political vocabulary and the dynamics of political discourse in some Muslim societies. A new type of politics encompassing post-Islamism and post-secularism is in formation in the Arab world.

Post-Secularism

The memories of harsh and unrelenting secular autocrats who ruled the Arab world in the name of an utopian nationalism or socialism are still raw in Arab minds. The broken promises of pan Arabism and failures of secular Arab socialism have led many to shun the autocratic and dynastic political dynamic prevalent in so called ‘’secular’’ parties like that of Ben Ali or Hosni Mubarak.

For years these two autocrats threatened the West by presenting a false choice between themselves and the ‘’Islamists’’ (by never defining actually who constituted this faction). Mubarak and Ben Ali played on the fears of their strategic Western allies and their own populations by making them believe that Arabs are only ever destined for stability never progress and require a strong man to keep them in check. The recurring Orientalist myth of Arabs being a rabble requiring a strong disciplinarian to keep them check permeated the Arab political elite but also academic and intellectual circles in the West such as the Neo-Conservative ideologues like Daniel Pipes.

For years neo-cons like Pipes peddled the discourse that Mubarak and Ben Ali are ”enlightened secularists” who can keep the so called ‘’devil we know’’ at bay and by forcing secularism down the throats of their populace.

This myth that the West should ‘’export secularism before democracy’’ has cost so dearly. The Western intellectual Peter Watson wrote an unusual and disturbing article in the Times a few years ago, called, ‘’Here’s an improvement on democracy’’. Watson suggests:

‘’ we [the West] should spend more time promoting secularism around the world and worry less about spreading democracy.’’

This fixation on supporting secular autocrats by Western governments has stunted the political progress of many Muslim societies. Watson makes the astonishing claim of calling the AKP an ‘’intolerant Islamic party’’, whilst forgetting the European Union officials and monitors have always praised the AKP for increasing the speed and scope of democratic and liberal reform.

Watson’s thinking is symptomatic of an ugly vision of democracy, where people are forced to give up their belief in God (or whatever belief or faith) in order to become more fully ‘’human’’ to be deserving of democracy.

Watson essentially argues Muslims cannot be trusted with democracy.

This secular elitism which permeates many Muslim societies fails to engage with the masses and fails to capture the democratic aspirations of its people.

Indeed Jurgen Habermas the leading sociologist and intellectual crediting with coining the term ‘’post-secularism’’ writes:

‘’ Religion is gaining influence not only worldwide but also within national public spheres. I am thinking here of the fact that churches and religious organisations are increasingly assuming the role of “communities of interpretation” in the public arena of secular societies. They can attain influence on public opinion and will formation by making relevant contributions to key issues, irrespective of whether their arguments are convincing or objectionable.’’

What Habermas is not calling for is a ‘’theocratic’’ state. Indeed Habermas himself proclaims his work is premised on a ‘’methodological atheism’’, but he qualifies by what he means as post-secularism’’ by suggesting the State should be a Liberal State which maintains a separation between religious institutions and political institutions but the public sphere (distinct from the State) should be open to all its citizens and citizens are increasingly using religious ideas, religious symbols and philosophy in many issues. Habermas writes that there is a fundamentally problematic assertion in the tradition of French secularism (which favours a very strict interpretation of the secular) that:

‘’Religion must be tolerated, but it cannot lay claim to provide a cultural resource for the self-understanding of any truly modern mind’’.

For those in the French tradition, religion is a virus and religion must be eliminated in the public sphere before we can even begin to discuss the prospect of democracy. Indeed Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali faithfully followed this principle by banning and outlawing all religious parties in their countries. But what followed was a logical extension of this idea of French secularism, an autocratic imposition of a secular orthodoxy.

Habermas’s vision of post-secularism where all citizens are equals and can communicate with each other using secular and religious arguments in the public sphere but where the State remains independent of religious institutions is promising:

‘’ Certainly, the domain of a state, which controls the means of legitimate coercion, should not  be opened to the strife between various religious communities, otherwise the government  could become the executive arm of a religious majority that imposes its will on the opposition.

In a constitutional state, all norms that can be legally implemented must be formulated and publicly justified in a language that all the citizens understand. Yet the state’s neutrality does not preclude the permissibility of religious utterances within the political  public sphere, as long as the institutionalized decision-making process at the parliamentary, court, governmental and administrative levels remains clearly separated from the informal  flows of political communication and opinion formation among the broader public of citizens.’’

We potentially lose something meaningful when we restrict the types of arguments that can be used in public discussion (be they secular or religious arguments) as Habermas puts it:

‘’ Second, the democratic state must not pre-emptively reduce the polyphonic complexity of the diverse public voices, because it cannot know whether it is not otherwise cutting society off from scarce resources for the generation of meanings and the shaping of  identities.’’

Post-secularism is the type of politics in practice and the emerging discourse in the Arab world which has long suffered under brutal secular autocracies.

But what about post-Islamism?

Post Islamism or Evolutionary Islamism

Professor Asef Bayat articulated the notion of post-Islamism first in the Iranian context in a research article ‘’The Coming of a Post-Islamist Society’’ and then later in a much broader context in his book, ‘’ Making Islam Democratic – Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn’’.

The crux of the ‘’post-Islamism’’ is that it:

‘’ strives to marry Islam with individual choice and freedom, with democracy and modernity (something post-Islamists stress), to achieve what some scholars have termed an “alternative modernity”. Post-Islamism is expressed in acknowledging secular exigencies, in freedom from rigidity, in breaking down the monopoly of religious truth. In short, whereas Islamism is defined by the fusion of religion and responsibility, post-Islamism emphasizes religiosity and rights”.

Indeed, today’s uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt are not fuelled by an intense and passionate religiosity as seen in the Islamic Revolution of Iran thirty years ago but neither is it fuelled by a harsh French secularism.

The new revolutions of the Middle East is the realization that people of faith and people of no faith need freedom and liberty to pursue their own beliefs and lives to the best of their ability. The unifying factor between post-Islamism and post-secularism is the move towards a politics of liberalism. We are seeing the dawn of a new Arab liberalism harking back to the early Arab liberals between the 18th and 20th century as elaborated in Albert Hourani’s work, ‘’ Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age 1798-1939’’.

But others have always argued that the description of ‘’Islamism’’ must be qualified by an adjective before it, since some political parties who derive inspiration from religious values and religious philosophy can be seen to pursue a liberal and democratic agenda such as the AKP and some pursue a totalitarian and autocratic agenda such as the religious parties of Pakistan.

Tunisian dissident Rachid al Ghannouchi is known to students of contemporary Islamic thought because he is a thinker who argues that there is no conflict between Islam and liberal democracy. Robin Wright writes in Islam and Liberal Democracy: Two Visions Of Reformation quoting Ghannouchi’s political thought:

‘’Islam recognises as a fact of life the diversity and pluralism of peoples and cultures, and calls for mutual recognition and coexistence. . . . Outside its own society, Islam recognizes civilisational and religious pluralism and opposes the use of force to transfer a civilisation or impose a religion’’

In Tunisia the main Islamist opposition is liberal and democratic headed up by Rachid Al Ghannouchi. Moreover, Ghannouchi is a proponent of gender equality, minority rights, electoral politics, free media and human rights whilst maintaining that he can justify all these principles by using religious philosophy and religious values (which is detailed in the bookRachid Ghannouchi: A Democrat within Islamism). In short, Ghannouchi proposes liberalism without secularism and that is what is interesting about his political party al Nadha (Renaissance).

One could argue about labels with Professor Bayat, but his description of their being a trend towards marrying Islamic thought with liberal principles is accurate. Whether this is ‘’post-Islamism’’ or simply an evolutionary trend in the way Islamists operate in democratic arenas is a debate still to be had.

Autocratic and totalitarian Islamism is doomed to failure as it simply lacks the legal and moral resources to sustain a modern nation state instead it argues for an amorphous and vague ‘’Islamic State’’ which is nothing but a dangerous utopia.

The least we can say is that an Islamist is someone who thinks Islam has something to say about questions of politics, justice and social issues. Clearly then there is a spectrum of Islamist politics. There exist pragmatists, liberals, democrats, violent extremists and autocrats seeking a totalitarian ‘’sharia state’’.

Inclusive Liberalism

We are seeing in recent years in the Middle East with the pluralistic movement of democratic secularists and religious liberals as exemplified by the Green Movement in Iran, or the political liberalization of the AKP, or the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt a move towards post-secularism and post-Islamism heralding a politics of an inclusive liberalism.

The Empirical Evidence

There will be those saying, ‘’Great theory, but the reality on the ground is different’’. However, even that is not the case, since those who make such claims are intellectually irresponsible and lack any rigorous empirical research. In their seminal work, ‘’ Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think’’ leading scholars Professor Esposito and Dalia Mogahead came to some interesting conclusions. Muslim majority societies on the whole support democracy, human rights, gender equality and wish to see greater economic progress and development. There is a desire to see a rigorous democratic approach to solve the problems facing these societies. The researchers made use of extensive data and field research from the Gallup Poll.

Pakistan – Evolution Not Revolution

Pakistan is not Egypt nor is it Tunisia. These Arab countries had a clear autocratic figure upon which the anger and revolutionary zeal present among citizens could be directed against. The situation in Pakistan is more complicated. There are a whole host of political actors who can be accused of being inept, hopeless, and corrupt and run their parties with autocratic tendencies.

Pakistan’s democracy is a contest between multiple points of autocracy. You have the autocracy of the PPP which refuses to have any internal democratic mechanisms or any notion of internal accountability or transparency within its political party making it a citadel for the Bhutto dynasty. The Sharif brothers do the same with their party. Other political parties are guilty of ethnic authoritarianism or religious authoritarianism.

What we see in Pakistan is a contest of autocracies – secular, religious, ethnic and dynastic.The coming together of citizens from different walks of life to engage in rational debate in the spirit of tolerance is where the beating heart of a flourishing democracy lies, and that heart is dying in Pakistan due to the collective failure of our political parties.

The evolutionary trend in Arab politics with the move towards a politics of liberalism (triggered by evolutionary/post Islamism and post-secularism) is lacking in Pakistani politics.

Pakistani Islamism as characterised by our religious parties is notoriously deadly and totalitarian but our secular parties are also hopeless and indeed in the past have paved the way for a brutalising form of religion to take root.

An inclusive liberalism which speaks truth to the inherent need for social justice, economic progress, development, rule of law and real democracy is what is needed.

Whether this will require a new generation of political parties is a question which must be asked. Our current political parties have been ideologically exhausted and are giving way to a politics of the street where mobs run riot.

Professor Bayat has noted how in the Middle East student organizations, youth and women’s groups, the intelligentsia, and other social movements have facilitated political evolution towards his idea of post-Islamism. The ‘’Al Jazeera’’ effect, and indeed the effect of new forms of social media in general are also duly noted.

The Pakistani youth which constitute the bulk of the population could be the trigger needed for the post-secularism and post/evolutionary Islamism to facilitate the conditions for democratic liberalism.

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23 Responses to "From Egypt to Tunisia – Towards A Politics of Post-Islamism and Post-Secularism"

  1. Ally Netherlands Internet Explorer Windows says:

    The Pakistani youth which constitute the bulk of the population could be the trigger needed for the post-secularism and post/evolutionary Islamism to facilitate the conditions for democratic liberalism.

    Of course they can… if the mullahs/landlords/secularists/army/whoever don’t get to them first… bit of a catch 22 situation!

  2. Guest United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    I don’t think your post is long enough. Could you please provide more detail?

  3. krash United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    To be honest, events in Tunisia and Egypt have made me giddy with delight.

    To me, this is clear evidence that Islamic Liberalism, as an alternative to hard secularism and theocratic Islamism, is a practically viable alternative. It is not something dreamed up by academics. It is an idea that can actually move masses of people and bring them out in the streets.

    Even if current movements in the Arab world do not achieve their goals, the idea is out in the open and will continue to motivate people. Eventually, this idea will win out because the alternatives will fail due to their own internal contradictions.

    And eventually, I am sure, the idea of Islamic Liberalism will make its way to Pakistan.

  4. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    ”It is an idea that can actually move masses of people and bring them out in the streets. ”

    This politics of engagement and liberation that I have outlined in the article has universal appeal to people of all walks of life, because it fashions an ethic of liberty out of religious, secular and cultural narratives.

    A politics of civic imagination is emerging where people have realised they must engage with each other, listen to each other, respect each other and value each other.

    In Pakistan, supporters of different political parties cannot even stand each other…..

    We lack this ethic of engagement and sorely miss civic imagination.

  5. PMA United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    As usual an excellent review and analysis. But Khalid Sahab have to lower down his excellent academic style to a comprehensible journalistic level. This is not a graduate class lecture hall after all. But his comparison of the current political situation in Arab countries and of Pakistan is on the mark. Even though Pakistan has been under dictatorship time and again, at present the situation is more like a ‘political oligarchy’ where few political dynasties rule the country. In Pakistan there is a total disconnect between political parties leadership and the public. That is why when Benazir and Salman get murdered in public and in broad daylight, there is no public up rise. Masses do not see political leaders as one of them and don’t give a damn if one is assassinated.

  6. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    ” ‘political oligarchy”

    @ PMA

    What a great phrase. Oligarchy describes rather than the structure of economic markets the behaviour of economic firms.

    Hence in a political context, Pakistan is a democracy (”market structure”) but the political parties (”firms”) act in an autocratic fashion which is to extend the analogy between economic theory and politics, ”anti-competitive” behaviour.

    The political parties in Pakistan operate within ”democracy” (elections and so on) but behave in an anti-democratic manner.

    This describes the unusual feeling among the Pakistani masses of living in a democratic country but feeling utterly helpless.

    Got to remember that phrase, thanks PMA.

  7. Raj (The Other One) Germany Safari Mac OS says:

    What Habermas favors is what we have in India!

    State and Religion should not mix up, but if some Sadhu runs around naked or some Mohtarma wears the Burqa it is their choice, and not the state’s.

  8. harbir India Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    I find this article disturbing. The argument of post-secularism sounds very much like the rubbishing of atheism by pointing to non-religious communist regimes like those of Stalin and Mao.

    If autocrats who propped themselves up as bulwarks against islamism mean that the muslim world is ready to go right past free secular democracy and continue to cling to dreams of a utopian liberal khalifat, the future doesn’t look very good.

    How does a state be a free liberal democracy if its institutions are not constitutionally secular?

    I don’t see it. I think that unless a free state is explicitly secular, it cannot resist the ethno-religious prejudices of its population, regardless of the intentions and dreams its intellectuals might have.

  9. Concerned Pakistani United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    It is naive to assume that hard core Islamists believe in anything else apart from Shariat. Let them come to power and they will remove the charade of democracy and start culling the liberals,secularists and educated middle classes.

  10. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ Harbir

    I find reading someone’s work before commenting usually helps:

    ”Certainly, the domain of a state, which controls the means of legitimate coercion, should not be opened to the strife between various religious communities, otherwise the government could become the executive arm of a religious majority that imposes its will on the opposition.

    In a constitutional state, all norms that can be legally implemented must be formulated and publicly justified in a language that all the citizens understand. Yet the state’s neutrality does not preclude the permissibility of religious utterances within the political public sphere, as long as the institutionalized decision-making process at the parliamentary, court, governmental and administrative levels remains clearly separated from the informal flows of political communication and opinion formation among the broader public of citizens.’’

    Your critiques have absolutely no relevance to my article.

  11. harbir India Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    AA Khalid,

    I usually find that baroque verbosity serves to obfuscate rather than clarify.

    You say that the domain of the state should not be opened to strife between various religious communities. further you say that “as long as the institutionalized decision-making process at the parliamentary, court, governmental and administrative levels remains clearly separated from the informal flows of political communication and opinion formation among the broader public of citizens.’’

    How is that to be made to happen except by making the state and its institutions constitutionally secular? By the goodwill of the state’s officials?

    I admit to being a stupid man with very simplistic thought processes but I do not see the feasibility of a “post-secular” state that would achieve all the miracles of a true secular democracy, without being secular.

    It does not become real just because intellectuals can imagine it.

  12. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    ”How is that to be made to happen except by making the state and its institutions constitutionally secular?”

    Read the article.

    The State must treat its citizens with equality and all citizens have an invioable dignity and human rights. Some people call this ”secular”, some religious people say this reflects the true moral teachings of their faith since we all created by God.

    I still think that constitutional liberalism is valid. I just think the way we are going to have to think about politics, public discussion and deliberation will have to change. Religious people too can be democrats and progressive.

    The difference is in the public sphere, which is different from the State. Public opinion is suscpetible to being formed out of religious, cultural, social and economic circumstances and factors.

  13. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Constitutionally the State cannot impose any form of religious interpretation but neither can it monopolise political discourse as was the case in Tunisia and Egypt.

    Hence the State should really be liberal. We need a Liberal State, which is inclusive of all its citizens.

  14. bciv United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    AA Khalid

    i read you response to harbir. you still haven’t answered what problem do religious people in the (non-state) public space have with the state declaring itself secular, and nothing but secular, without any more reference to them or their ideas than strictly the ballot box.

    they might want to insist within the (non-state) public space that their god(s) ordain(s)s for the state to be secular, but they cannot expect the state to (formally) recognise this belief of theirs and still remain secular.

    insisting on the principles of a secular state as being part of their religion but being allergic to the word “secular” and “a secular state” makes even less sense. it is two steps further down the slippery slope than insisting the state recognise that its secularism derives from their religion.

  15. bciv United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    the absence from the argument of algeria’s FIS and pakistan’s 2nd amendment as examples of post-secularist democracy is interesting.

  16. bciv United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    and i am not saying that authoritarian (ie illegitimate) force is necessarily the answer to democracy choosing to crush human rights as in the case of, say, pak’s 2nd amendment. but you cannot call it right just because it is democratic nor ignore it. in case of FIS, it had made it clear that the one it won was going to be the last election ever. only a secular state can uphold a minimum level of human rights, including freedom of belief/ideas, and ensure that democracy is not used as a mere vehicle by fascist opportunists like FIS and JI (of pak). fascists at least cannot use religion as a tool. they can still use nationalism. indeed, nationalism has often used religion. but you cannot do much more than stick to principles. and secularism is as much and as fundamental a principle as democracy. both need to be upheld at the same time. of course, there isn’t much you can do if some thug decides to point a gun at your head. but the brave still choose not to compromise their principles.

  17. bciv United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    are you saying france is not a democracy?

    your problem with secular autocracies should be that they are autocratic. what’s wrong with secularism?

    ” liberalism without secularism” is simply not possible at the level of the state.

  18. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ bciv

    Read my article. I accept there is a spectrum of ”Islamist politics”. There are democrats, there are liberals, there are autocrats and fascists. We must be critical of all parties and actors but we should consider there policies and ideas, instead of the labels.

    The key is to be able to appreicate the diversity of the Islamist discourse and seek to strengthen Islamists like Rachid Al Ghannouchi who say that Islam allows for liberalism.

    This post really isn’t about the State per se, but the dynamics of political discourse and political argumentation. The way we do politics in the Middle East and indeed wider Muslim World will change in the years to come. I accept your points about Pakistan, I did discuss them in the article.

    The State should always guarantee human rights, equality and full citizenship. The word ”secular” has cultural aswell as political connotations. But yes I accept the State to still be secular and abide by constitutional liberalism.

    It’s just that political parties fusing religious and liberal values like the AKP will become the norm in Muslim societies. That is the ideal anyway.

  19. AA Khalid United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    ”your problem with secular autocracies should be that they are autocratic. what’s wrong with secularism?

    ” liberalism without secularism” is simply not possible at the level of the state.

    It is my problem, I do no think autocracy religious or secular is the way forward.

    As a matter of institutions, yes the State should be secular, but we should allow the public sphere to be open and democratic.

    ”” liberalism without secularism” is simply not possible at the level of the state.”

    But I was talking about the level of a political party.

    At the State level I understand your points and would point to Sheikh Abdel Raziq’s work ”Islam and the Foundations of Governance” (Al-Islam Wa Usul Al-Hukm) who argued for the separation of religious and political institutions.

    What I do not propose is the secularization of society.

  20. bciv United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    i had got that impression about your view in relation to my query from a previous discussion. thanks for clarifying it once again. hope your intended context for the article helps answer others too who might have similar questions after reading the article.

  21. harbir India Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    “As a matter of institutions, yes the State should be secular, but we should allow the public sphere to be open and democratic. ”

    In a secular democracy, the public sphere IS open and democratic. freedom of religion and freedom of expression in a secular democracy mean that religious discourse is very much part of the public sphere. Individuals, groups, political parties, everyone is free to couch their perspectives and politics in a religious context. But the state itself, its laws and its institutions are inviolably protected from religious context.

    This state of affairs already exists in countries like Canada and the USA, and countries like India are not too far away.

    I don’t understand what “secularization of society” means. America is an extremely secular country and a secular state but its people are also quite religious. Organizations and political parties of the right extensive are constantly bringing christianity into the political discourse, constantly trying to influence law making and public policy to comply with religious expectations. They are successful in places where there are no clear violation of the separation church and state or of existing paradigms (such as the drive against embryonic stem cell research which is most heavily motivated by the christian right), and not successful where there is such violation (such as the introduction of the ten commandments into courts or the teaching of intelligent design in public schools).

    But the US is not a post-secular state. It is very much a secular state.

    It seems to me that the understanding of what a modern secular democracy is is weak in the muslim world because there is no experience with it. As such, secularism is seen as an authoritarian, undemocratic suppression of public religious sentiment, and muslim intellectuals cast about for a “post-secular” state of affairs, when what they are really looking for is in fact a Free Secular Democracy.

    “Free” is important, because thats where freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom from state interference in religion are guaranteed. “Secular” is important where the citizens are protected from state enforced religious tyranny by guaranteeing the complete neutrality of the state and its institutions. “Democracy” is important because the people determine, and accept, the level of freedom and secularism that they and their state experience, via the expression of the views of all parties.

    To me, talk of post-secularism looks like the work of people scarred by authoritarian regimes but unfamiliar with truly free secular democracy.

  22. bciv United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    ” the work of people scarred by authoritarian regimes ”

    that and the fact that many of these regimes raising the islamist as a bogeyman further confused people since islamists were the relatively more politically (and socially) organised, though small, group at the receiving end of the worst of what authoritarian regimes do. it was absurd that the likes of rachid ghannouchi had been imprisoned, tortured and exiled by the tunisian regime. these regimes being supported by the west, responding to the islamist bogeyman tactic, and the islamists also adopting the anti-imperialist narrative that the left, including most liberals, used, added to the confusion.

    experiences like FIS, iran and significantly 9/11 and the revolting ideology behind it has had an effect on the growing middle class/civil society in the arab world. these events have exposed hardcore islamists a bit more and any crackdown on them or lack of tolerance for them is slightly more understandable as far as the man in the street is concerned. the internet has also helped the educated classes inform each other and organise better.

    the 30,000+ dead in pakistan should have had a most sobering effect here too. but pakistan;s experience with military rule is in some important ways unique. the deep state keeps ensuring that we keep missing each important opportunity for change and, as a result, keep confusing the people into paralysis. and now the mullah has been given the nod to threaten with death anyone who dares to speak out.

  23. Rex Minor Germany Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Some one mentioned about truly free secular democracy? Where does one find this phenomina in practice? In the USA and in Gito prison, or in ndia with the majority practicing hindus and the caste system r in Kashmir where the Indian mlitary is oppressing the muslim majority? Let us please not bring down Pak Tea House to become a research laboratory or a universiy class room.. In his post of Feb 1, Mr Khalid explains his views with more clarity than in the article.
    What isthis mumbo jumbo about Egypt to Tunisia and politics of post-Islamism-secularism? DIGNITY is what the Arab youth under thirty have risen to recover, yes Dignity which their despot and authoritative Govts. have sacrificed without peoples consutation. Two major clients of the USA , who participated in randitions and torture of innocents to curb the so called terrorism have gone down. The Yemen ruler is the next and others are likely to follow!

    And this is the real politics. No larifari with academic discussions and developing ideas above the heads of the people.

    Rex Minor

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