— "Liberalism was associated with the western powers. Within the west there was a contest between liberalism and other forms of political thought. But in the Middle East liberal thought — ideas about democracy, empowerment, emancipation, the privileging of the individual over the collective — was linked to the European powers that carved up the Ottoman Empire and subjugated the Middle East either directly or indirectly."
— "There’s a very good book that I’m reading at the moment called Sectarianization: mapping the new politics of the Middle East (2017), edited by Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel. I find the basic idea in that quite convincing: sectarianism is a tool that is used for political ends rather than the cause of all the instability in the Middle East now."
Christopher de Bellaigue
Was/is there an Islamic enlightenment?