Across the Arab world millions of women and men have taken to the streets, showing that dictators can be overthrown without weapons. But what happens now?
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?