"I actually challenge all these mythologies and ask why are they being created and what is the function of it." --Every1 of Us (as embodied by Tariq Ali on Democracy Now 29 May 2008 @51:40)
@50:40 JUAN GONZALEZ: And yet, as you say, religion played no part in that movement, and yet now religion plays such a huge part in the daily life and the political life of Pakistan today. What was the transformation that has occurred?
TARIQ ALI: You know, I challenge that, actually. I think what—the last general elections in Pakistan, the religious parties were virtually wiped out electorally. It is true that there is much more religiosity on Pakistan, but there is in virtually all parts of the world, including this country. But in terms of the religious parties actually dominating Pakistan, this is not true, or the notion that Pakistan is on the eve of a Jihadi takeover and the Jihadi finger on the nuclear trigger.
I’ve just written a long a book on Pakistan, which will be published in September, in which I actually challenge all these mythologies and ask why are they being created and what is the function of it. The bulk of the country isn’t attracted to either Jihadi or religious politics. These are a tiny, tiny minority in Pakistan. The real problems of people in that country are food, clothing, shelter, education. And no political party or the military are interested in solving them. The surprise is, for me, that more people don’t move towards religion. But they don’t.