Profile of the Religious Right

Secular Pakistan

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By Eqbal Ahmad

Dawn- 7 March, 2009

In two earlier essays l had argued one, that all religio-political movements are products of the shift from the agrarian/pastoral to the capitalist/industrial mode of production and the many forms of dislocations that it entails and two, that the religious tradition they invoke is more imagined than real, outcome of political opportunism and contemporary compulsions rather than of a return to sources and fundamentals.
Given their shared roots, the so-called ‘fundamentalist’ movements bear remarkable similarities which are outlined in the following paragraphs:

The Jew as well as the Christian, the Hindu no less than the Muslim ‘fundamentalist’ plies an ideology of superior difference. Each confronts an inferior and threatening Other. Each engages in the politics of exclusion. Hence each poses a menace to the minority communities within its boundary. The Jewish ones regard the Arab, especially the Palestinian Arab whose land they covet…

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