Book Description by Publisher:
Tariq Ramadan is one of the most acclaimed figures in the analysis of Islam and its political dimensions today. In "The Arab Awakening" he explores the opportunities and challenges across North Africa and the Middle East, as they look to create new, more open societies. He asks: Can Muslim countries bring together Islam, pluralism and democracy without betraying their identity? Will the Arab world be able to reclaim its memory to reinvent education, women's rights, social justice, economic growth and the fight against corruption? Can this emancipation be envisioned with Islam, experienced not as a straitjacket, but as an ethical and cultural wealth? Arguing that the debate cannot be reduced to a confrontation between two approaches - the modern and secular versus the traditional and Islamic - Ramadan demonstrates that not only are both of these routes in crisis, but that the Arab world has an historic opportunity: to stop blaming the West, to jettison its victim status and to create a truly new dynamic. Tariq Ramadan offers up a challenge to the Middle East: What enduring legacy will you produce, from the historic moment of the Arab Spring?
Robert Irwin of the New Statesman clearly is not impressed (in Liberal Koshari we do not appreciate Ramadan's lucidity and duplicity with words yet we continue to be curious about his thoughts "evolution") Excerpts from Irwin's review below:
The author contends that “democracy is characterised by five inalienable principles that are not only not in contradiction with Islam, but are in fundamental conformity with it: the rule of law, equality for all citizens, universal suffrage, accountability and the separation of powers (executive, legislative and judiciary)”. This is a fine thing, but it is something that should be demonstrated, rather than merely asserted. The past history of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates and the Mamluk and Ottoman sultanates does not suggest that it is necessarily true; nor does the present practice of the Saudi and Iranian regimes. More facts and fewer debating points would be desirable. Although he has declared that “it is high time to move on from useless ideological debates”, I do not think that Ramadan ever has.