With the upheavals in the Arab world tensions have been growing between ‘secular’ and ‘Islamic’ conceptions of society. Both in political confrontations in Tunisia as well as with the recent military coup in Egypt or the war in Syria an unbridgeable separation between Islamic and as secular defined notions and ideas seems to have burned in. Under conditions of extreme poverty, war, and ongoing interventions an existing pluralism of societal designs seems to be obviously no longer negotiable. Basic ideas – be it ‘secular’ or be it ‘Islamic’- are subject to a logic of confrontation and are being used as an important weapon in political debates. Can there still be such a thing as ‘Beyond Secularism and Islamism’ and how could that look like?
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Pakistan is a society full of contradictions. Besides the violence and extremism, there is a growing number of young people and a civil society, which are demanding participation and freedom of expression. With the growing possiblities of electronic communication, a discourse about the political situation and Islam is beginning to evolve.