One should not gain privilege or loose opportunities for reason of the religion that one follows. This principle lies at the theoretical heart of secularism as practiced in
In an earlier column I had indicated the problem lies with the kind of representative
politics that liberal democracies thrive on. The problem was perhaps best illustrated by the events subsequent to Shahrukh Alam’s lecture at
I have to confess that despite my Islamist ‘sympathies’ I found this presentation most distasteful. What struck me most however, was the restraint of the audience. Sharing with friends after the event, I remarked that had this been
The idea of not having to suffer for the cause of the religious faith one professes is a welcome idea. The idea of living together in peace is similarly a desirable condition. The question is how exactly do we operationalise these ideas. The project of Secularism is compromised by the multiple ideas within which it works, which ensures that the promise is often time not recognized. By and large it has allowed for toleration under the hegemony of a dominant religious-cultural tradition. The demand I make, along with my many companions then, is not for thrusting the idea of convivencia into the dustbin of history, we ask merely that it be taken more seriously.