Analysis by Emad Mekay
"CAIRO, Oct 8, 2011 (IPS) - Egypt, routinely the cradle for new Arab and Islamic ideologies, is now witnessing the birth of yet another line of thought - Islamic Liberalism. The term is touted now as a panacea for the eight-month impasse that has locked Islamists and their secularist rivals in bitter bickering over how this Arab nation should be governed after the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.
The new ideology involves Islamists toning down their designs of a puritanical Islamic state into a more subdued version of religious ideology laced with pragmatic liberal political positions, such as freedom of expression and belief, along with modern day governing practices such as Western-styled elections and institutions.
In return secularists will ease their attacks on Islam, show greater respect for the faith and recognise its history and potential of justice, social equality and spiritual elevation.....
Analysts of the political debate in Egypt say time will be needed for a true pragmatic Islamic trend to take root.
"This will take some more creativity," Hossam Maklad, an Egyptian researcher of Islamic movements tells IPS. "The incentives for the Islamists to move to the centre are there."
"What we call Islamic Liberalism needs to improvise a form of governing that rests on Islamic heritage and civilisation as a great foundation while at the same time enjoying all the good benefits of Western liberal structure," Maklad said. "If we can combine both then we’ll save ourselves all those fights and quarrels which may never end." "