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Muslim Clerics and the Arab Revolutions

Was religion the main driving force behind the uprisings? Or was it a shield for the status-quo?


As the Arab Revolutions were unfolding, various Muslim clerics took a public position to either support or condemn them, if not out right call for their repression in blood. Dr Usaama Al Azami, Lecturer in Contemporary Islamic Civilisation at the University of Oxford and author of "Islam and the Arab Revolutions" joined me to discuss the rationale followed by each camp but also how Islam was both the legitimizer of autocracy, democracy, the status-quo, revolution and counter revolution.

From Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi to Ali Gomaa, Hamza Yusuf and Abdallah Bin Bayyah, we dwelve into the role played by religion during the uprisings even though, be it in Tunisia or Egypt, revolutionary leaders did not arise from religious institutions. The discussion was further extended to sepration of religion and state, secularism as a new religion (especially in the case of France) and whether Islam teaches strict obedience to whomever is in power and hence, is de facto the religion of power.

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