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Post-Islamist ‘Religious Secularism’ in the Muslim World Lily Zubaidah Rahim Department of Government and International Relations University of Sydney.

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Presentation on theme: "Post-Islamist ‘Religious Secularism’ in the Muslim World Lily Zubaidah Rahim Department of Government and International Relations University of Sydney."— Presentation transcript:

1 Post-Islamist ‘Religious Secularism’ in the Muslim World Lily Zubaidah Rahim Department of Government and International Relations University of Sydney

2 The Muslim World

3 Muslim Majority Countries

4 Muslim Majority Countries (continued)

5 Freedom in the World 2011 Table of Muslim-Majority Countries Freedom House 2011 PR and CL stand for political rights and civil liberties, respectively; 1 represents the most free and 7 the least free rating. ▲ ▼ up or down indicates an improvement or decline in ratings or status since the last survey. ↑ ↓ up or down indicates a trend of positive or negative changes that took place but were not sufficient to result in a change in political rights or civil liberties ratings. indicates a country’s status as an electoral democracy. NOTE: The ratings reflect global events from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010.

6 Freedom in the World 2011 Regional Data Freedom House 2011

7 Egypt, Democracy and Islam 2011 Egypt, Democracy and Islam (Pew Research Centre Publication, 2011)

8 Muslim Perceptions of Islam’s Influence in Politics 2011 Egypt, Democracy and Islam (Pew Research Centre Publication, 2011) Islam was seen as a positive rather than negative influence in politics by equally impressive margins in Indonesia (91% to 6%), Nigeria (82% to 10%), Jordan (76% to 14%) and Pakistan (69% to 6%). In Lebanon and Turkey, close to a third said that Islam had a negative influence in politics, but in both nations more believed Islam's influence was positive than said it was negative. Respondents who had a positive view of Islam's influence included both those who said Islam was playing a large role in their country's political life and saw this as a good thing and those who said Islam was playing a small role and saw this as a bad thing. The reverse was true for those respondents who had a negative view of Islam's influence.

9 Egyptian Priorities 2011 ‘Egyptians Embrace Revolt Leaders, Religious Parties and Military’ (Pew Research Centre Publication, 2011)

10 State-Religion Regimes Ahmet T. Kuru, Secularism and State Policies Towards Religion (2009:18) Islamic StatesStates with an Established Religion (Islam) Secular StatesAntireligious States State-Religion Regimes in 46 Muslim Countries

11 State-Religion Regimes Ahmet T. Kuru, Secularism and State Policies Towards Religion (2009:31) Passive secularism Assertive secularism Islamic state State with established religion Secular state Antireligious state Continuum of State-Religion Regimes and Secularism

12 An overwhelming number of Muslims support democracy believing that it is the key to a more just society and to progress. Muslims indicate that the lack of political freedom is what they least admire about the Islamic and Arab world. The majority of Muslims would like to see a religious form of democracy with the sharia as one source of legislation, albeit a restricted source. Most Muslims desire a system of government in which religious principles and democratic values co-exist. A significant majority in many Muslim countries say religious leaders should play no direct role in drafting a country’s constitution, writing national legislation, determining foreign policy, deciding how women dress in public or what is published in newspapers. Most Muslims do not want a rigidly secular or Islamic state. Refer to John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, (NY: Gallup Press, 2007), p Key findings of the Gallop World Poll : Muslim perceptions of democracy and secularism

13 Political moderation thesis – J. Schwedler (2006); Vali Nasr (2005) - inclusion of Islamist parties/movements leads to moderation Schwedler on political inclusion - radicals become reformers - fence-sitters become moderates - moderates become even more moderate - moderates have opportunities to increase their visibility and efficacy

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