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Secularization in the Arab World
Secularization in its traditional meaning can be difficult to achieve in most of the Middle East, especially in countries where religion and politics cannot be apart by anyway, like Iran and Saudi Arabia. This paper discusses how is secularization realized in the Arab world, taking Egypt as an example. I will specifically explore how gender relations play a role in accepting the phenomena. Secularization is not a new concept to Arab thinking. A similar environment existed between the 9th and 13th centuries, as well as in the early 20th century, where everyone had the freedom of speech and opinion, although it is difficult to find this situation nowadays. This presentation will focus on the growing secularization again in the Arab region, especially after Arab uprisings. It will discuss the social changes that happened to change people’s mindsets from dreaming of returning to the Islamic civilization, known as returning to the “correct” Islam, to thinking positively towards secularization. It will also engage the opposing stream that considers secularization as evil and a threat to conservative Arab society. Finally, this presentation will analyze how each side thinks and identify any connection with gender concerning accepting the idea of secularization.
Geographic Area
All Middle East
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