Tag Archive: East

Equality - liberty and human rights MPC Journal

Freedom and Equality in Unequal World

What is the greatest difference between the cold-war order and the 21st-century global order? A cold war joke offers a good hint. An East German school teacher asks little Fritz: “Fritzchen, why are you always speaking of our Soviet brothers? It’s ‘Soviet friends’.” Fritz responds: “Well, you can pick your friends.” Back then, they had no freedom to choose, but still enjoyed a form of stability through comradeship or alliances in a bipolar balance of power. Now, we can make choices, but these choices do not guarantee any degree of strategic stability. Globalisation has injected a sense of fluidity, uncertainty,…
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© Photo: PakistanTribe

Sunni Ultra-Conservatism & Western Populism: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Two recent high profile events, Pakistan’s Super Cricket League (PSL) final and the Lahore Literary Festival, reflect the country’s struggle with the rise of militant Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism. They also illustrate how militancy often serves illiberal Pakistani leaders as a tool to curtail critical expression much like Western populists such as US President Donald J. Trump seek to redefine truth and refocus public debate.

Al Khalifa wal Moqattam, Cairo, Egypt - MPC Journal/Hakim Khatib

Islam and the Enlightenment

The intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th century that became known as the Enlightenment helped a new class to come to power in Europe. Neil Davidson asks why the more advanced civilisations of the Islamic world did not develop a similar movement of their own. In the current Western controversy over Islam, one theme recurs with increasing predictability. Many writers are prepared to acknowledge Muslim cultural and scientific achievements, but always with the caveat that Islamic civilisation never experienced an equivalent to the Enlightenment. “Islam never had to go through a prolonged period of critically examining the validity of…
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