A wave of religious fervour and a backlash by secular liberals has left some ordinary Egyptians feeling like strangers in their own country, and civil rights activists warn of a dangerous drift into sectarianism.
(Photo: Volunteers help injured after suicide attack on Shi’ite procession in Quetta September 3, 2010/Rizwan Saeed)
Pro-Taliban Pakistani militants are trying to fuel a sectarian rift, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday, as a new wave of violence piled pressure on a government already struggling with a flood crisis.
About 3,000 people marched in Beirut on Sunday to demand a secular system in place of the Muslim-Christian sectarianism that permeates politics, employment and family status matters in Lebanon. “Civil marriage, not civil war” was among the banners carried by the mostly young, educated protesters who gathered in response to a campaign on Internet social networking sites. It was Lebanon’s first such demonstration in favor of secularism.