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Religion and Society

Thinking Islam after Tahrir Square

Soldiers and protesters pray together in Tahrir Square on 10 February, 2011 [Alisdare Hickson / Flickr]

Initially taking no part in the street demonstrations, Islamic institutions and organizations have been closely involved in the post-Arab Spring phase. Changes at the political level have also had an impact on the religious discourse, which has nevertheless failed to respond to the demands voiced during the uprisings

This article was published in Oasis 31. Read the table of contents

Last update: 2021-08-29 21:45:06

Initially taking no part in the 2010-2011 street demonstrations, Islamic institutions and organizations have been closely involved in the turbulent post-Arab Spring phase. Changes at the political level and the explosion of jihadist violence in the Middle East have also led to transformations in religious discourse, which has nevertheless not fully reckoned with the personalist demands voiced during the uprisings.

 

“Allah has nothing to do with it”: commenting on the 2010-2011 revolutions, Emmanuel Todd summed up their secular nature in these words.[1] Indeed, according to the French demographer, the Arab Spring was the political manifestation of deeper social transformations (particularly in the family structure) occurring independently of the Islamic identity of the countries swept by the protests. This reading was justified by the very slogans being chanted in the streets, with their emphasis on universal values such as justice, freedom and human dignity and it was subsequently confirmed by investigations seeking to sketch a profile of the demonstrators.[2]

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