I mean, these were anti-religious ideologies that, as I say, you know, resulted in the kind of human violence that as, you know, religions could only dream of, and so the promise of peace and prosperity that was made if we could just, sort of, replace religion with secularism, did not actually turn out that way and so I think as, you know, as human beings and as societies have begun to become increasingly disaffected with secularism, it’s only natural that religion and religious identities would rise to the surface. In other words as secularism is on the decline, as it is all around the world, religion is rising to the surface and with a vengeance. I think there’s more to it than just that however; it’s not just about the failure of secularism. I think we also have to keep in mind that globalization has had a huge role in the resurgence of religious identities. Think about it this way, however you define globalization, one of its inevitable consequences is that as it’s begun to diminish the boundaries, the borders that separate human beings into nation states then, you know, nationality itself certainly as a form of identity has also begun to diminish. Again as I was mentioning, you know, part of the philosophical foundation of the 20th century was this conception of Secular Nationalism and this belief that human beings should make their primary marker of identity their national identity. So, you know, it’s okay to maintain, you know, some identification with your ethnicity, with your religion and with your culture but first and foremost you should define yourself according to your national identity. You are first and foremost American, you are first and foremost Turkish, you’re first and foremost Egyptian, and then you’re Muslim or Christian or Hindu or whatever.
Well, as our national identities have been assaulted by globalization, as they have begun to deteriorate as a result of precisely this, sort of, diminishing of the borders and the boundaries that separate us into nations states, it’s only natural, once again, that more primal forms of identity like ethnicity but especially religion will…has once again risen to the top and become the primary marker of human identities in all parts of the world again including here in the United States and we’ll talk a little bit more about that in the question and answer session. Whatever the reasons for it, what we’ve been finding is that people all across the globe are beginning to identify themselves in greater numbers and with more force by their religious or in some cases even ethnic makeup. What are the challenges that this poses? Well, I think those challenges are twofold and this is, sort of, where I get into the knots and bolts of what I talk about in the book. We’re talking about the difference between Nationalist groups and Transnationalist groups or to put it in more technical terms the difference between Islamism and Jihadism. Islamism, as most of you know, is a political philosophy. It’s an ideology based on the desire to create an Islamic state whatever that means. That is a state founded upon a distinctly Islamic moral framework, whatever that means. I say whatever that means because there has actually yet to be a successful attempt at the Islamic state outside Iran and Iran of course is an unusual, you know, exception and one that I’m sure, you know, we’ll have plenty of time to talk about; but for the rest of Muslim majority states this dream of founding the Islamic state has either remained elusive or has gone through so many iterations and Pakistan is an appropriate example of this.