By Zoya Hasan
This booklet explores the nature of the political transformation and democratic transition within the Asian Muslim international. It asks even if democracy is suitable and fascinating as a political process for non-Western societies, and assesses the level of tangible democratization in all of the international locations studied, specifically, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
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Additional resources for Democracy in Muslim Societies (Orf Studies in Contemporary Muslim Societies)
The rise of Jamaat in the political arena is often regarded as a contributory factor towards the politics of polarisation. One should recall here that the Awami League had formed an alliance with the Jamaat in 1994–96 to oust the then BNP regime. True, it had not made them a ruling alliance partner, like the present BNP regime, but the significance of an alliance to oust a regime cannot be understated. One, therefore, seriously needs to ponder about the dividing lines: is secularism versus fundamentalism the issue, or is it merely who is in power?
Democracy in Bangladesh could not consolidate itself due to the political ambitions of the ruling elite, internecine conflicts, politicisation of the military, and external influences. The restoration of democracy in 1991 was a milestone in Bangladesh’s political history. It ended years of authoritarian rule and provided an excellent opportunity for the people and politicians to mend existing structural and functional constraints in the political system and make the changes necessary to usher in democratic governance.
The reason behind this proposition was that the power base of the Awami League, which had won an absolute majority in Parliament, rested predominantly on the petit bourgeois and the rural rich. This class did not have influence over the military–bureaucracy oligarchy that had traditionally controlled the ‘over-developed’ Pakistan state. Rapid private accumulation during this regime, therefore, took the form of plundering and extortion of nationalised state resources in the public sector. During this phase, two methods were used to appropriate surplus: one by directly selling distribution licences gained through 48 AMENA MOHSIN AND MEGHNA GUHATHAKURTA political connections; and, second, through siphoning off marginal differences between ex-factory and market clearing prices.
Democracy in Muslim Societies (Orf Studies in Contemporary Muslim Societies) by Zoya Hasan