American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 30 (4) 125-136 Fall
To understand how the Arab Spring may evolve over the coming years, we have to understand its specific context. The ‘revolutions’ across the Middle East are not just a product of discontent and fury against dictatorships; after all, the Arabs have been raging against their rulers for well over half a century. The Arab Spring is also a creation of a particular period of time, a time where globalisation, interconnection and instant communication are the norm, and authority and political legitimacy are in flux. It is a period of uncertainty, ambiguity, chaotic behaviour and rapid change that I have elsewhere described as ‘postnormal times’ (1). Moreover, as Nader Hashemi has observed, ‘the Arab Spring is not a single event but rather a long-term process of political change. Its precipitating factors were both political and economic; and while history has yet to render its ultimate judgement, fundamental questions remain about how best to understand the nature, character, and trajectory of Arab revolts’ (2). It is my contention that we need to grasp the context of the postnormal times, which served as a catalyst for the Arab revolts and within which the long-term process of political transformation is taking place, to comprehend the dynamics of the Arab Spring, and anticipate its trajectory.
To appreciate the reality of contemporary times, it is important to realise that the problems of the Arab state, indeed problems of all societies, national as well as international, are complex. The politics of a democracy, the questions of economic reforms, the hopes and aspirations of a diverse and pluralistic society, the stubbornness of entrenched institutions such as the police and the military, are all complex issues that do not have simple or straightforward answers. Complexity is enhanced by the fact that all such problems are interconnected, have a direct bearing on each other, occur simultaneously, and can acquire a global dimension rapidly. Hence, nothing can be solved in isolation; there is little that can be hidden from the global gaze. Interconnected, complex problems often generate positive feedback. Things multiply quickly, change is rapid and occurs in geometric proportion. Thanks to mobile phones, blogs, e-mails, and 24-hour news media, facebook, and twitter we are constantly in the know. Citizens are thus primed to react instantly, equipped with the means to set off new patterns of chain reactions. Under such circumstances, governance in emerging democracies is a formidable challenge.
Complex, interconnected problems often lead to chaos. The important point to note about chaos is that small differences and perturbations in any political or economic system can make a big difference and lead us to, what is known as, ‘the edge of chaos’. This phenomenon is popularly described as the ‘butterfly effect’: the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil sets off a tornado in Texas (3) A handful of bankers can bring the entire global financial system down. A disease in a remote village can become a global pandemic in matter of days. Or a vegetable vendor can start a revolution that quickly crosses national boundaries and spreads throughout the region. In postnormal times, a handful of individual have tremendous potential to generate chaotic behaviour.
Apart from chaos and complexity, which are interlinked and feed on each other, there is a third characteristic of postnormal times: contradictions. There are obvious contradictions around us that have been there for some time, such as the disparity between the rich and poor within and between nations, the desire to preserve local culture while enjoying the financial benefits of globalisation, and the fact that certain segments of society and culture are going through unprecedented change while other aspects of social life remain quasi-static. But in postnormal times they become magnified and more visible. Postnormal times also generate their own contradictions: the contradictory aspirations of various groups within a highly diverse and pluralistic society; the demand for instant solutions for pressing problems, such as unemployment, when real solutions require long term policies and effort; the quest for certainty in a period where uncertainty is the norm. In general, contradictions cannot be resolved, they have to be transcended.
So the Arab Springs are a product of a period of globalisation, complexity, chaotic behaviour, contradictions and rapid change. They owe their initial success to the underlying dynamic of this state of affairs. The new democracies have emerged within the environment of postnormal times, the in-between period when old orthodoxies are dying, new ones have yet to be born, and very few things seem to make sense. Whether the new democracies succeed or fail depends on how well they navigate the turbulence of postnormal times. And the Arab Spring provides us examples of both: the states that are likely to succeed, and the states that will probably fail.
To appreciate the special character of postnormal times, it is worth comparing them with what we may call ‘normal time’ – that is, the time before the Arab Spring. In normal times, a generalised acceptance of the existing distribution of power and the hierarchy of interests is maintained. There may be a corrupt dictator at the top, but most people know their position in relation to power. Normal times are not without dissent or dissatisfaction, including attempted rebellions, but change is overwhelmingly accepted as working through and with the way things are. The political and social compact that holds society together is the acceptance that the vested interests and power holders, however corrupt and greedy, will ultimately do something for the nation and the common good. Indeed, some of them actually did. Therefore, the powers that be and the hierarchical order of things are the basis from which a better future is envisioned and the premise on which a society directs its efforts to realise the future. In normal times, a rich mythology underpins popular understanding and support for society and economy. The mythology may glorify the army or the ‘nation’; it may even be based on a dissenting vision of an alternative ideology that will, one day, usher a utopia, such as the notion of an ‘Islamic state’ based on the Sharia. There are caveats and escape clauses which allow for imperfections in the governing system; but the caveats do not undermine collective belief in and acceptance of the national narrative. The mythological underpinnings also create the most sought after luxury of normal times: time. Things may be difficult, rulers may be oppressive, but there is some confidence that problems will eventually be sorted out given ample time.
In postnormal times, there is no luxury of time: liberated from the shackles of a dictator, and with rising hopes and expectation, citizens demand immediate attention to their problems and urgent solutions. But attempts to meet their demands and solve their problems only lead to further entanglement in a complex web, and multiply rapidly, concurrently and dangerously. The problems are aggravated. Disgruntled citizens and groups with vested interests, freshly empowered, take over the streets again, generate positive feedback, leading rapidly to chaotic behaviour and a new impasse. It is important to note that protests in postnormal times work not as conventional demonstrations with an identifiable leader, such as a politician, a union spearhead, or a student trailblazer, but as a networks without leaders. A network is an elusive entity manipulated by nodes of communication. Street politics thus acquires a new and powerful dimension: instant communication means that massive crowds can appear rapidly; the presence of global media ensures that a national issue becomes an international event; and the lack of a clear and well-defined leadership means that there is no one to negotiate with. The potential for chaos to emerge, as we saw in the June 2013 demonstrations in Brazil (4), which ended with the government conceding to most of the demands of the protestors, are therefore exceptionally high.
Moreover, in postnormal times there is no confidence in the institutions of the society. All the basic institutions of the state – the bureaucracy, the judiciary, the police, the army – are identified with the old regime. But at least, the dictators got things done, and kept a lid on warring tribes and sects, which are now free to vent their suppressed anger on each other. All that the citizens took for granted seems to evaporate and cannot be trusted to deliver what little it is supposed to deliver. There is no new narrative to replace the mythology of normal times; the utopians have won, democracy has been delivered, and there are no alternative narratives of hope. So in postnormal times, the problem is not a dictator, or a police state, but the society itself constitutes the problem. And it is a complex, iterative problem that has no simple or immediate solutions, while the citizens demands instant quick fixes.
In normal times, uncertainties are small and manageable. You knew what the dictator likes and dislikes and kept on his right side. But in postnormal times, uncertainty takes centre stage. Since everything is interconnected, complex and chaotic, and changing rapidly, nothing can actually be described or trusted with any certainty. The citizens are totally bewildered: the past was so radically different from the present that there is no history to learn from, the contradictions of the new polity seem impossible to deal with, and the euphoria of the revolution gives way to new anxieties.
Seen from this perspective, it is not too surprising that the Arab Spring has turned into a winter. The elected rulers of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya discovered that to become thriving democracies they needed to deal with, or in some cases establish, complex systems of governance. In a democracy, governments are made up of many people and groups, with different vested interests, some armed with weapons, within entrenched institutional frameworks such as bureaucracies, judiciary and army with their own privileges to preserve, all regulated with their pre-democracy norms, procedures and precedents. It is not just a question of many different and diverse parts, but how these parts interacted to produce a complex whole. Moreover, the leaders of new democracies have to deal with this diversity and complexity in a rapidly changing environment, rising expectations, and constant threat of chaotic behaviour from disgruntled citizens or groups with vested interest. One could argue that the mere fact that Arab Spring democracies have survived in a postnormal environment is a measure of their success rather than failure.
Highly complex functional and successful systems do not emerge overnight. They evolve gradually and take generations to reach a stable state. But to be successful they have to be able deal with some of the basic characteristics of the postnormal world. Take, for example, globalised markets that serve only those who pay; or democratic politics which is all about the balance of power. So any post-spring economy that is purely market based is not going to cater for those who are, and were systematically, marginalised by mainstream financial and economic sectors. And any polity that is not inclusive and pluralistic will not be stable. If governance is dominated by a particular segment of society, or certain national stake-holders feel totally powerless, or if attempts are made to impose the will of a particular segment of society on others, politics comes to a grinding halt. Empowered citizens take to street – and chaos takes its natural course. One of the main principles of survival in a complex environment is that its controlling mechanism must itself be complex – what is known as Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety (5). In other words, plurality and diversity have to be at the heart of governance, and reflected in all state institutions, for new democracies to endure. When this does not happen, even the most successful states face serious obstacle.
A good example is provided by Turkey. Here we have one of the most successful economies of the Muslim world, led by a pragmatic and moderate Islamic party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The AKP has not only improved the economic lot of the vast majority of the citizens, it has even managed to force the military, the guardians of Turkish secularism, to abandon all concern with politics. Indeed, it is the most popular, democratically elected government in Turkey’s history. Yet, as the May-June 2013 demonstrations in Istanbul’s Taskim Square demonstrate, the Sublime Porte, an apt term to describe contemporary Turkey as it seeks to rediscover its Ottoman heritage and culture, has little understanding of postnormal times.
The protests started over the proposed plans to build a shopping mall in Gezi Park. Given the plethora of shopping malls in Istanbul, one can legitimately ask, what need is there for another one, over a much loved historic park? But the shopping mall is a natural outcome of the aggressive capitalist, market driven economy that AKP has pursued. It is not about needs, or desires of citizens; it is about markets, money and corruption. Gazi Park, however, is not just a park: it’s a metaphor for a particular notion of ‘Turkishness’ that the AKP seeks to impose on the entire population. In other words, it is as much about a politics of identity as markets. The AKP is proud of its Islamic identity – and rightly so. But identity is not something that can be manufactured let alone levied; and the values it generates have to be intrinsic and not imposed from the outside. Those who embrace AKP’s Islamic values in Turkey do so willingly; and those who reject them are equally free do so. The type of secular nationalism that AKP seeks to promote is based on socially conservative Islamic values that cannot, or will not, be uniformly embraced by all segments of society. The plan to ban alcohol has been described as the ‘last straw’ by many people. Again, alcohol is not just alcohol; it is also a metaphor for individual freedom. No one can force anyone to drink. But in a pluralistic democracy, those who wish to drink have the right to do so. Moreover, to impose a single notion of identity on a diverse society is to go against the forces of complexity and postnormal times, which all its attendant consequences.
This is perhaps the most difficult thing to grasp for all varieties of Muslims, with opinions covering one end of the spectrum to the other. In the contemporary world plurality has a very specific meaning: its means everyone, including those who embrace western values totally, are included within the overall framework of society. Of course, you can disapprove; but you cannot ban, exclude or marginalise.
There is an unstated assumption in Islamic thought that Islamic values, however they are defined, are ‘natural’ and hence can be enforced on others with impunity. And it is this tendency that led Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan to face the accusations of ‘totalitarianism’. Of course, he is not a totalitarian in the classic meaning of the term. But confusing populism with pluralism is a category mistake. When confronted with the indictment, Erdogen just did not know how to react: ‘do not come to me with abstract accusations that are outside the realm of politics. Can you give me specific and tangible examples?’, he declared. But, of course, as Taha Ozhan, Director of the thinktank Siyaset, Ekonomi ve Toplum Araştırmaları Vakfı (Seta), which is closely aligned to the AKP, notes there is no ‘tangible response other than, “We are afraid and we feel repressed.” Similarly, Erdoğan asks the same question to those who stated that they don’t want intervention in their lifestyle. When the protestors say “we would like to partake in decisions that involve our city, we want participatory democracy”, Erdoğan, then, asks, “Who are you?” This question does not have a tangible answer either, because the Gezi Park protests are no one and everyone at the same time’. Ozhan suggests Erdogan needs to overcome his nineteenth century positivism to ‘be free of accusations of totalitarianism’ (6); I would argue he also needs to transcend ninth century Islamic thought and have some grasp of postnormal reality.
Postnormal times cannot be piloted with traditional Islamic thought, which as autocracy and authoritarianism at its core. Moreover, it would be a category mistake for contemporary democratic leaders, such as Erdogan or President Mohamed Morsi, to see democracy as nothing more than an instrument for acquiring autocratic rule. Notice how Erdogan addressed the demonstrators in Taksim Square, giving them ultimatum and describing them as ‘riffraff’ (capulcu). Clearly, he has no idea of the power of the crowd in a contemporary world, and how rapidly, though positive feedback, it can become chaotic and acquire a global dimension. The clash in Taksim Square was not between an Islamist party and the secularists as the international media has suggested; rather, it is a specific product of our time where dealing with plurality is truly a complex problem.
Erdogan behaves as an autocrat for another reason: to simply the complexity of democratic governance. But that, according to Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety, is a recipe for disaster. In fact, autocracy is a double edge sword. One the one hand, the simplicity it introduces makes the complex system unstable, which requires it controlling mechanism of governance to be correspondingly complex. On the other hand, there is always the danger that a seduction of a simpler system, such as autocracy, leads to its entrenchment through various means, including violence. For the beneficiaries of the Arab Spring, it will mean nothing less than a return to the status quo.
This is where the main threat to Arab Spring is located. Witness how President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt has tried to relegate all powers to himself and hence turn himself from a legitimately elected ruler into an autocrat. While the revolution was able to break the physical framework of authoritarianism, it left the mental authoritarianism intact. That traditional Islamic thought is totally inapt in dealing with plurality is quite evident in the new Egyptian Constitution (7). Most members of the Constitution drafting committee belonged to the ruling Islamist party, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), and the ultra-conservative Nour Party. Article 1 of the Constitution describes the ‘Arab Republic of Egypt’ as ‘an independent sovereign state, united and indivisible, its system democratic’. Article 2 declares that ‘Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic its official language’, which is fair enough given that Egypt is an Arab Muslim country. But then Article 2 goes on to state: ‘principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation’. Given that Sharia means different things to different people, even amongst Muslims let alone non-Muslims, this is a recipe for inviting dissent, inevitable disaster, and a clear attempt at suppressing diversity and plurality. Once you bring the Sharia into play, Egypt can hardly remain, as subsequent events have demonstrated, ‘united and indivisible’. To ensure that traditional ideas about gender, non-Muslims, and other equally inequitable notions of the conventional Sharia remain intact, Article 4 gives power of interpretation to ‘Al-Azhar Senior Scholars’ who ‘are to be consulted in matters pertaining to Islamic law’. This is, of course, not all that different from the Constitution of Iran which gives these powers to a Supreme Leader and a Council of Guardians. The basic assumption inherent in these articles is that the people cannot be trusted, the very people who led the revolution, with issues of public morality or with knowing what it means to be a Muslim in the twenty-first century: they have to be instructed and shepherded by a select elite. Finally, in case there was any doubt, Article 219 makes it clear that ‘the principles of Islamic Sharia include general evidence, foundational rules, rules of jurisprudence, and credible sources accepted in Sunni doctrines and by the larger community. So the Shia, the Sufis, the Ismailis, and other variety of Muslims who do not subscribe to the Sunni tendency need not apply for citizenship; women should remain at home, their obligations towards family and society are enshrined in the Constitution; and the non-Muslims should make for the exit.
The President appoints one-tenth of the members of the Shura Council, whose members are supposed to be elected by a secret ballot (Article 128). He appoints the heads of all national institutions, including the central bank and audit bureau, which makes labelling them as ‘independent’ a bit of an anomaly. This means that the President has almost complete control over the legislative process.
Moreover, there are a string of other equally obnoxious articles in the Constitution. While Article 45 grants freedom of thought and opinion in absolute terms, the previous Article 44, prohibits defamation of messengers and prophets thus opening the door to blasphemy a la Pakistan where numerous innocent people have suffered from such a legislation, and even young Christian boys have been sentenced to death. Indeed, it is not just the prophets, you can’t show any contempt to any other human being according to article 31. Given that the President is a human being too any criticism directed towards him leads a citizen directly to jail for ‘insulting the President’. And if you were to insult the army, say by accusing it of corruption, heavy-handedness or mismanagement, you would be tried in a military court for ‘crimes that harm the armed forces’.
One would expect the Islamists and ultra-conservatives to be more than happy with the new Constitution. ‘Supporters argued that the constitution would bring stability’, notes Ahmad Taher, ‘and therefore enable the development and foreign investment that was required to achieve ambitions and aspirations of the Egyptian people. They also claimed that Article 2 and Article 219 would work to moderate Islamic Shariah rule’. The problem is that ‘Islamic Shariah rule, far from bringing stability, development and foreign investment, has always resulted in injustice, oppression, and strife. It is a monolithic institution in a world that requires complexity to deal with complex problems. It curtails freedom and equality in a world that demands it. It drags society back into ancient history when the world itself is moving forward. Perhaps that is why the segment of the Egyptian population not enamoured with ‘Islamic Shariah rule’ shiver at the very idea. ‘The opponents claimed that the constitution would bring about a new tyranny by equipping the president with absolute authority and broad powers while leaving no room for accountability and oversight. It was thought to reduce citizen’s rights and impose restrictions on freedom to such an extent that opponents demanded a reinstatement of the 1971 Constitution along with a new Constitute Assembly’ (8) write Taher. In other words, half of Egypt was so horrified that it preferred a legislation drafted by a dictator!
In contrast to Egypt, which is too deeply anchored in traditionalist Islamic thought, Tunisia shows more awareness of post-normal reality. Like Egypt, the ruling party in Tunisia, Ennahda, is a product of the Islamic movement; and like Egypt, Tunisia too had to go through a tough process of creating a new constitution, which emerged after a number of different drafts (9). Tunisia is an ‘Islamic’ as Egypt, and declares, in the Preamble to the Constitution, that it will ‘remain faithful to the teachings of Islam’. Article 1 states Tunisia’s ‘religion is Islam, its language is Arabic’, but the country trusts it people and Article 3 announces that ‘sovereignty belongs to the Tunisian people’ (not to God, Who is the ultimate Sovereign in any case, which we find in the Constitution of Pakistan, and which has been a source of endless confusion and scholarly amusement). Moreover, there is absolutely no mention of ‘Islamic Sharia’, rather human rights, rights to work, health care and education, and separation of powers are emphasised. Thus, legislative power belongs not to the President but to a Chamber of Deputies ‘elected by universal, free, and secret vote’ (Article 18) who advise and authorise the President ‘for a set period of time and for a specific purpose, to issue decrees which he submits, as the case may be, to ratification by the Chamber of Deputies’ (Article 28). Moreover, there is a formula to ensure that Chamber of Deputies is representative of the society as a whole with appropriate representation from regions, employers, farmers, workers – and the Deputies represent not their own interest but that of the entire nation. The Judiciary is independent and selects judges from amongst its own ranks and local authorities have autonomy to run their own affairs.
It is worth noting that while Ennahda insisted in creating a parliamentary system with checks, balances and full accountability, the secular parties fought for a semi-parliamentary system, with an active President with much great power. These irresolvable (and ironic) contradictions between the different positions were eventually resolved through dialogue and negotiations. Ennahda’s aim was not to produce a constitution that is about management and control but one that represented the views and aspirations of its diverse society and involved all sections in nation building. Apart from being more open and inclusive, the Tunisian Constitution recognises the plurality and diversity of the society it seeks to guide. It provides a complex system of governance for a complex society and times. Despite this, Tunisia has not been free of protests, mostly a product of high youth unemployment and economic depression about which the government, indeed any government, can offer no instant solutions. But the only protest that acquired a chaotic proportion was the riots initiated by the Salafists, during June 2012, after they attacked an art exhibition. However, such difficulties notwithstanding, Tunisia seems to be able to negotiate a cautious way forward.
The difference between Tunisia and Egypt, as reflected in their respective constitution, is essentially a difference of mode of thought. Egypt is facing the prospect of a ‘civil war’ precisely because it is Muslim Brotherhood leaders are struck in an ossified framework of Islamic thought which has never really been able to deal with diversity and plurality. It is a linear structure that shuns complexity. Tunisia’s stability, even though it is rather fragile, comes from the very fact that it has embraced the diversity and plurality of its citizens; and placed complexity at the heart of governance.
The predicaments of postnormal times just cannot be resolved with traditionalist Islamic thought and mode of doing things. Ironically, for those who are most concerned and obsessed with ‘Islam’, beat their chests and shout the loudest about ‘defending Islam’ and ‘Islamic Sharia’, Islam itself presents the greatest danger. Complexity tells us that no single mode of thought, or model of behaviour, or method can provide an answer to all our interconnected, complex ills. The ‘free market’ is as much a mirage as the suggestion that liberal secularism, or some idealised monolithic notions of Islam, will rescue us from the current impasse. It is thus foolish to place our faith in a single ideology or a monolithic notion of truth. Diversity and plurality are essential both to understand and deal with complexity; and resolve our interconnected problems.
This leads us to one of our most difficult conclusions: to navigate postnormal times, Muslims must abandon the goal they cherish above all others: to impose a single truth on a diverse society and a plural globe. The notion that Islam is the only truth sets up false oppositions, within Muslim societies as well as between Muslims and non-Muslims. If all truth is the same for everyone at all times, then if I am right, you must be wrong. And, if I really care for truth, I must convert you, by persuasion, legislation or force if necessary, to my view; or, at the very least, I must ensure that my truth somehow remains dominant in society. Muslims must move forward from the old recipe that ‘Islam is supremely important, and therefore all men must have one true Islam’ to the new formula that ‘Islam is supremely important, and therefore every man must be allowed to live by the Islam which seems true to him, or reject what does not seem true to him’ (10). This is something the pious and conservative will find hard to swallow. But the reality is that their historic and traditional notions of ‘Islamic truth’ is dangerously obsolete in postnormal times and serves only as a source of strife and violence.
In postnormal times, there is no way of constructing a moral order except on the basis of equality and dialogue. Contradictions teach us to accept and appreciate different perspectives and be humble. There are no absolutely right or absolutely wrong answers to any given problem. Even a very basic understanding of a problem requires a dialogue on its various dimensions, involving a whole range of perspectives and interests including those of citizens of different faiths, Muslims of difference persuasions, men, women as well as children, people of different social and cultural backgrounds, and different ethical notions. As contradiction cannot be resolved, we need to put our differences aside and manage contradictions and complexity through negotiated and consensual dialogue, where all participants are given equal voice. There are no authoritarian or violent means to resolve contradictions or dealing with complexity; they only adds further layers of complexity and take the whole of society even closer to the edge of chaos.
Humility, modesty, accountability, responsibility, diversity, and dialogue, which some may see as good old Islamic values, are not added extras but an essential if Arab democracies are to survive postnormal times of uncertainty, chaos, complexity and contradictions. They can attempt to reduce uncertainty by injecting a heavy does of traditionalism or autocracy, but this does not, as we see in Turkey and Egypt, eliminate uncertainty – it simply changes it. As we can never eliminate uncertainty and cannot have total control of any situation, our claims must by definition be humble. Similarly, we can never have complete knowledge of a complex system – social, cultural or religious; it will always be tentative and provisional. So we have to be modest about the claims we make about such knowledge. If Arab democracies fail to acknowledge uncertainty and complexity of certain situations they will not only make a technical error but also an ethical one. Old, normal times will thus return once again.
- For a more detailed discussion of postnormal times, see Ziauddin Sardar, ‘Welcome to Postnormal Times’, Futures 42 (2010) 435-444 and ‘East-West in Postnormal Times’ East West Affairs 1 (January-March 2013) 3-12; and Merryl Wyn Davies, editor, ‘Postnormal Times’ Futures, special issue (2011) 136-227
- Nader Hashemi, ‘The Arab Spring Two Years On: Reflections on Dignity, Democracy and Devotion’ Ethics and International Affairs 27 2 (2013) 207-221
- For more on chaos see Ziauddin Sardar, Introducing Chaos (London: Icon Books, 1999; and several editions since)
- On Brazil and the general phenomenon of global protests, see Peter Beaumont, ‘Global protest grows as citizens lose faith in politics and the state’, The Observer, 22 Jun 2013
- Alexander S. Gard-Murray, Yaneer Bar-Yam, ‘Complexity and the Limits of Revolution: What Will Happen to the Arab Spring?’ arXiv:1212.3041, December 11, 2012
- Taha Ozhan, ‘The protests and Erdoğan’ Hurriyet Daily News, 14 June 2013; http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-protests-and-erdogan.aspx?pageID=449&nID=48757&NewsCatID=436
- Egypt’s new constitution can be downloaded from: http://www.worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/egypt-039-s-new-constitution-in-its-entirety-in-english/egyptian-constitution-egypt-constitution-mohammed-morsi-morsy-/c1s10493/
- Ahmed Taher, ‘The New Egyptian Constitution: An Outcome of a Complex Political Process’ Insight Turkey 15 1 (Winter 2013) 25-37
- Tunisia’s new constitution is available from: http://confinder.richmond.edu/admin/docs/Tunisiaconstitution.pdf
- See Jonathan Sacks, The Dignity of Difference (London: Continuum, 2002, first edition), where the former Chief Rabbi argues that all three monotheistic faiths have to make this radical shift to survive and avoid ‘clash of civilisations’. But serious protests from orthodox Jewish groups forced him to remove this assertion, and a ‘new edited edition’ was hurriedly brought out in 2003.