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March 15, 2007


Nur al-Cubicle

please don't harrass me about how I spell his name, okay?

Oh, geez, everyone remembers how Qaddafi's name was mangled. US press agencies used to love to use Qadaffy. Then there was Khadaffhi, Kadaffi, Qudaffy and about fifty other variants.


Thankfully, Qemni announced his retirement from retirement a month or two ago -- after two years of silence. So he's back on the media roadshow, which I suppose can only be A Good Thing.

The debate over whether Article 2 of the Egyptian constitution, which refers to Sharia law, should be changed has rekindled the debate about secularism. It's clear that the most vocal debate has called any attempt at removing Sharia, or minimizing its role, from the constitution, as a form of attack on Islam itself. I wrote myself a little about this MP who has launched a "Popular Movement Against Secularism." Unfortunately the intellectual and political climate in Egypt at least does not seem to be right for a debate about secularism, despite the fact that many Muslim legal thinkers say, sotto voce, that they don't see why Sharia should be in the constitution in a country whose political culture in the 20th century was largely based on Wafdist ideas of sectarian co-existence (of course that point is debatable).

More difficult to deal with are the Danish cartoon mentality and the globalization of hesba -- it seems to me that there is an emerging global Muslim referential that is essentially Salafist (I mean by this something midway between the original Egyptian Salafists and the current post-Qutb Salafism of Islamist groups). And that is a worrying development if this region is going to have a serious debate about the relationship between state and religion.

The Lounsbury

And "Qadaffy" is worthy of note why?


Abu Aardvark you know that I deeply respect you and in this case I think the conclusion that you may benefit from is never believing what Asad Abu Khalil has to say.

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