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  • I never claimed that all religions are the same, not even that there are differences in spectrums I pointed out. I only contradicted your claims of fundamental differences.
  • Be specific: what do you consider an "extreme example" or a "superficial similarity" and why?
  • I don't get what "political demand" changes about the fact that the Church of England unites political and religious leadership just like the caliphate doctrine. Meanwhile, I don't view the caliphate doctrine as it developed as purely rooted in religion, either. Soon after Mohammed, it was transformed into a quite political justification for the hereditary imperial power of a clan (contrary to original Islamic notions of choosing a leader), and even later the Ottoman sultans claimed the title for their own imperial benefit (legitimising rule over Arabs) despite lack of descent from Mohammed. This, I note, wasn't too successful in practice when a string of Arab kingdoms defied central rule and gained semi-independence.
  • What is the narrative you are constructing with this "orthodox backlash"? Are you, like the author in the Atlantic, ignoring all other factors affecting various parts of the Arab world (European colonialists, CIA coups, Israel, etc...) and claim an intrinsic development? If we just speak about Iran, it has a very interesting history which doesn't lend itself to such simple narratives. For example, 47 years before the CIA-funded coup d'état against secular leftist PM Mohammad Mosaddegh, there was the Persian Constitutional Revolution, in which a broad coalition including clerics, merchants and advocates of Western-style reforms, united in rejection of submission to European colonialists, forced the Shah to establish a parliament. Those aren't the fault lines of The Atlantic's narrative. In fact, the fault lines in the 1979 Revolution weren't quite like that, either: in both Iran and the West, the fact that the revolution was the work of a broad coalition from Khomeini to communists was airbrushed from history (after establishing power, Khomeini quickly went after his former allies).
  • Furthermore, it is totally off to claim a switch from relaxed times to orthodox backlash for the entire Islamic world on the example of Iran. There was a more or less synchronous development in urban Afghanistan, Egypt and Palestine, but elsewhere, I don't think so. If anything, the Gulf States minus Saudi Arabia became more relaxed over the same time period, while orthodox madness started in Pakistan with independence. And as bad as Erdoğan is, IMHO it is a stretch to call developments in Turkey an orthodox backlash: Turkey is still more liberal and Westernized than the Shah's Persia ever was.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 04:51:03 AM EST
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