Islam and Modernization: A Comparative Analysis of Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey

By Javaid Saeed | Go to book overview

subsidy on bread alone equalled one year's revenue from the Suez Canal plus some $350 million. 217 Since power was transferred to Mubarak in 1981, no perceptible change has been noticeable in the state's overall approach to the country's problems from previous years. As far as planning in Egypt is concerned, it is remarkable that after 1965 the country had no multiyear plan until one was announced in 1983. 218

Nearly one-third of the Egyptian workforce is on the public payroll--3.2 million people out of a workforce of 10 million. The armed forces, which were over 1 million in 1973, are not included in this figure. In 1980 Egypt's civil service consisted of 2.1 million people; from 1962 to 1972 the civil service grew by 7.5 percent per annum, while the workforce increased by 2.2 percent. For mere survival, they have to depend on two jobs, sometimes both on the public payroll. The average workday for these civil servants varies "between one-and- a-half and three hours. . . . Along with the moonlighting, petty corruption in such circumstances is unavoidable." 219


CONCLUSION

When Egypt achieved its independence in a real sense following the coup of 1952, its leaders aspired to make it a self-respecting modern state. They were not clear, however, as to how to achieve this objective. Their policies, actions, and statements in the following decades have shown very confused thinking. To be fair to these leaders, however, it must be stated here that the problems they inherited were of gigantic proportions. These were further compounded by the lack of a clear direction from the Egyptian intellectuals in the preceding several decades, going back, in fact, to more than a century ago when Muhammad Ali first attempted to modernize Egyptian society.

Aware of Islam's appeal among the masses, the state has merely used it as a tool to legitimize its policies and to seek legitimacy for the government. It has sanctioned and encouraged such blatantly un-Islamic and illegitimate practices as the Sufi orders; it has used such groups as a source of support against the Muslim Brotherhood. The larger and more pressing issue--the reform of the traditional practices and orientations that are labeled Islamic--has not been touched by the state and has been treated as if it does not even exist. Its effect is so deep, however, that it affects such matters as manual and technical professions which are looked down upon. Indeed, it affects all aspects of life as religious leaders and many Muslim scholars never tire of stating, to the point of boasting, without realizing the ill-effects it generates. Although the Egyptian modernist intellectuals have, to a considerable extent, censured the prevalent Islamic orientations, attitudes, and practices in the society, they have not yet worked out a system of religious thought that would be applicable to the present times. Their thought has oscillated between modernism and traditionalism, with

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Islam and Modernization: A Comparative Analysis of Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Explaining Modernization 9
  • 3 - Religion and Modernization 25
  • Conclusion 43
  • 4 - Islam and Modernization 45
  • Conclusion 69
  • 5 - The Religiopolitical System of Pakistan and Modernizatton 73
  • Conclusion 112
  • 6 - The Religiopolitical System of Egypt and Modernization 117
  • Conclusion 154
  • 7 - The Religiopolitical System of Turkey and Modernization 157
  • Conclusion 196
  • 8 - Conclusion 197
  • Notes 209
  • Bibliography 247
  • Index 257
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