The following post was sent in by Dr Abdul Majeed Abid in response to my recent blog post regarding Islam and liberal world order. (I personally think that loyalty to country, even to an empire not our own, can be successfully created, but it takes an unusually dominant host culture or empire to carry it off for now; and in the future, who knows what shape loyalties and identities will eventually take, but that is a story for another day. Dr Abid's comments follow).
From Dr Abdul Majeed Abid:
Islam, it may be, really IS the the rock on which the Western Liberal Democratic Consensus is breaking..
Recent events in Turkey and the political situation in France are indicators of a future where the modern democratic project fails when an interaction with Islam is concerned. A Democratically elected (quibbles aside) government in Turkey used the tool of democracy to give up on democracy itself (it was not as simple as that but this is one of the easier inferences). Khaled Ahmed has written in one of his pieces that Muslims don't really 'get' Democracy. Turkey has seen a hundred-year long ‘struggle’ between Kemalist/Secularist forces (be they Mustafa Kemal’s party CHP or the military) and Islamist/Neo-Ottoman forces (starting from Nacmeddin Erbakan to Tayyip Erdogan) and the Islamists seem to have scored a decisive victory. With its Kurdish-majority south-eastern part up in arms, ISIS knocking on its doors and millions of refugees roaming the cities, Turkey can easily be branded the ‘New Pakistan’. Pakistan, lest we forget, was created to escape from a democracy where Muslims would remain as a permanent minority. It is worth noting that in Mohammad Iqbal's famous address to All India Muslim League in 1930, considered a roadmap to Pakistan, democracy was mentioned six times and every time with a negative connotation.
In France, a nation proud of its unique national character, faltered when it came to dealing with Muslims. Starting in the 1970s, the principle of Laïcité, the bedrock of French society for the last century, has faced critical examination because of Muslims and their failure to completely integrate in a majority Christian nation.