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The Arab Spring and the challenge of minority rights: will the Arab revolutions overcome the legacy of the past?

El Issawi, Fatima (2011) The Arab Spring and the challenge of minority rights: will the Arab revolutions overcome the legacy of the past? European View, 10 (2). pp. 249-258. ISSN 1781-6858

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s12290-011-0183-1

Abstract

The blood of Egyptian Copts on the streets of central Cairo on 9 October 2011 could be accurately described as the first major set-back for the Arab Spring. Preserving the rights of minorities as full citizens in the face of long-standing persecution and neglect is a pressing challenge for the Arab revolutions. However, the dilemma of the rights of Christian minorities within the Arab world is a historical one, deeply rooted in a complex interplay of social, economic and political factors predating the Arab Spring and its unpredicted implications. The growing signs of a radical Islam empowered by the loosening grip of Arab dictatorships raise concerns that go beyond the question of security and political representation for minorities. There is a bitter race between, on the one hand, secular forces weakened both by the absence of any previous organisational cadres and by the misuse of secularism by nationalist Arab regimes and, on the other, religious forces that are pushing forcefully for further overlap between religion and the state. As the results of the first free elections in Tunisia demonstrate the popularity of Islamism in the midst of entrenched secular countries, it is clear that the battle between the two trends is an unequal one.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://link.springer.com/journal/12290
Additional Information: © 2011 Springer-Verlag
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2014 15:01
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 23:15
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/59908

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