A new Arab Spring?

That’s what this author sees coming. We can only hope that it doesn’t result in the more of what the first Arab Spring brought us.

I don’t necessarily disagree. The forces identified as the causes of unrest are real. They are the elements of what, in the West, was termed “modernization.” And those forces will necessitate changes and reforms, just as they did in the West.

The problem is that within an Islamic context, responses such as increased democracy, reduction of the power and influence of the church, and other elements aren’t likely, and perhaps are impossible.

The secularism of the modern West was the result of assorted struggles to delink church and state that took about eight centuries to develop. Islam hasn’t yet begun the process of delinking ideas from religion.

Speaking during the 12th Al Jazeera Forum, held this weekend in Qatar’s capital, Doha, a number of regional experts said it is “inevitable” that change will come to a region with one of the world’s highest percentages of youth.

“Massive uncontrolled urbanisation, pressure on the job markets are among other socioeconomic factors the leading causes behind greater expectations of the youth in the Arab societies,” said Mohamed Mahjoub Haroon, professor of social science at the University of Khartoum, in Sudan.

Haroon identified market forces, economic stagnation and uncontrolled and unplanned urbanisation as the three main socioeconomic factors behind the Arab Spring that swept across several countries in the Middle East and North Africa.


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