Religion, Democracy and the Challenge of the Arab Spring

Chapter Title

Religion, Democracy and the Challenge of the Arab Spring

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Department

Sociology, Egyptology & Anthropology Department

Description

The focus of the chapter is an exposition and critique of early Western reactions to the Arab Spring. As evident in the coverage of the uprisings within the Anglo-American media, the anxiety often provoked by these uprisings and the subsequent attempts at democratization is a result of a perception that 'the democratic face of the revolutions may serve to his its "true" Islamist nature or... the masses, unable or unwilling to recognize the distinction between religious and political spheres, will hijack the fledgling democracies by electing Islamist governments' (Morrison 2014: 328). As such, the dilemma that is posed by the plurality of Western reactions is whether democratization, through permitting the election of groups with anti-democratic agendas, will lead to an opening for, or a closure of, democracy. The Arab Spring is an event for which a response is demanded from all of us who wish to be invested in questions of politics, democracy and religion. As such, we need to ask: how do we orient ourselves towards these events? How do we develop a politico-ethical response to the election (or potential election) or Islamist governments? Or, in basic terms, how do respond to the Arab Spring?

Publication Date

2015

Document Type

Book Chapter

Book Title

Is God Back? Reconsidering the New Visibility of Religion

Editors

Titus Hjelm

ISBN

9781472526663, 147252666X, 9781472528407, 1472528409, 9781472521859, 1472521854, 9781472529039, 1472529030

Publisher

Bloomsbury Academic

City

London

First Page

161

Last Page

175

Keywords

Arab Spring, religion, democracy, Islam, secularization

Disciplines

Political Science | Political Theory | Politics and Social Change | Sociology of Religion

Religion, Democracy and the Challenge of the Arab Spring

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