The title clearly suggests what all these individual case studies have in common. Each study analyses the process of political-religious radicalisation observable in these Muslim nations and its impact on Christian minorities.
Given the limits imposed by the cases the author cannot go more into the broader issue of Islam's politicisation; sometimes he even makes questionable claims. For instance, he views Pakistan's Ali Jinnah as a moderate Muslim leader. This might be correct in cultural terms but not from a religious point of view since the latter was either agnostic or even an atheist. He also jumps the gun a bit in equating Sufi Islam and political militancy. Overall though, the book gives non-specialist readers a good introduction to a phenomenon that is front page news today.
Despite a variety of geographic, political and social contexts, a more or less homogenous picture emerges. In almost all the countries scrutinised the existence of formal legal guarantees has failed to protect religious minorities, not only because the rise of Islamic fundamentalism has progressively worsened the living conditions of Christian communities in the Islamic world but also because the legal status of non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries has never been properly addressed.
Generally speaking, two situations exist. On the one hand, some countries have traditionally not had any significant Christian minority and have simply viewed Christians as outsiders. On the other, historical Christian communities have existed and do exist in countries that were once part of the Ottoman Empire. Under the aegis of the empire, religious minorities were organised as millet, self-governing communities legally subordinate to Muslims but with substantial autonomy.
Despite the passing of the millet system, the status of minorities did not improve because equality within newly-created national states was only formal; leaving entirely unresolved the issue of how shared citizenship could actually work.
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