2005 April 13 Wednesday
Religious Parties Seen As Gaining Strength In Pakistan

The suppression of more moderate parties by Musharraf's military dictatorship combined with the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are combining to create conditions favoring the growth of the religious parties in Pakistan.

In a surprise to many here, the incident took place not in the conservative tribal areas, but in the country's Punjab heartland. In reaction, protesters picketed Parliament Monday, calling on the government to "save the society from Talibanization."

Through strikes, protests, and the passage of strict local ordinances, Pakistan's religious parties have grown more brazen in their challenge to the secularization central to President Musharraf's rule. Political analysts are concerned that the sidelining of mainstream parties under may be aiding the radicals in the run-up to local elections in July.

When moderate opposition is suppressed the inevitable result is the growth of more extremist opposition.

The growing power of religious parties in Pakistan is also partly another cost of the US invasion of Iraq. The US overthrow of the Taliban was relatively easier to justify to Muslims than the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

In 5 years time will the average Middle Eastern government be more or less Islamic? Will the Muslim countries with elected governments be more or less Islamic than those with dictatorships? Your guesses?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 April 13 05:02 PM  Civilizations Clash Of


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