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I agree with this assessment...but...

Reader comment on item: Islam's Key Quartet

Submitted by Jeremy Brown (Israel), Jan 2, 2011 at 04:05

I think you're right on with this determination of the leading Islamic countries. These do seem to be the center of action, innovation, and development of Islam as it interacts with the modern state.

I would add, though, a number of countries to watch in upcoming years in how they address the mixture of nation-state politics and regime stability vs. Islam:

1) Malaysia and Indonesia (as an example of how Islam is addressed among the southeast Asian countries)--these two states are in the last 10 years seemingly trying to find a consistent course for how to deal with Islam in their populous multicultural states.

2) Afghanistan--this is an example of how Western incursion into the Islam world will play out. (Arguably, Iraq could be put here too).

3) Kyrgyzstan--how Islam will be used by the former Soviet Islamic republics. All of them are essentially dictatorships, but Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are probably too totalitarian to make an assessment and judgment of how Islam will be used by the states of Central Asia (as regime security concerns weigh equally as heavily as religious concerns).

4) Hamas and Hizbullah--although these aren't states, it will be interesting to watch how Islamic movements in power or with heavy influence in government effect governance of a people/nation. This especially has major repercussions in places such as Egypt and Algeria, with their large Islamist opposition. If Hamas and Hizbullah show they can govern with Islam, this could lead the Muslim Brotherhood to try a similar project.

5) The Countries of Europe (especially France, Britain, and the Netherlands)--how Muslim populations will fit into the West in Muslim-minority countries, and more importantly, how the governments of such nations will address the issues of Islam and Muslim populations and their accompanying demands.

6) The United States--a very similar issue to point 5, but in a country which declares formal separation of religion and state.

It will be interesting to see if in 10 years your list will be the same.

Submitting....

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