When the late Professor Fred Halliday made the case that the London School of Economics should not accept a £1.5 million Qaddafi Foundation grant, his expert and political/moral opinion was met with an air of polite condescension from on high. The 'realists' of course knew best. Except that now they realise they didn't.
While the Middle East uprisings have not revolved around religion, faith has not been absent from Arab scenes of protest in the last two months, says Shatha Almutawa. God and scripture are invoked by revolutionaries and those who oppose them for the simple reason that Arab dialects and ways of life are infused with religion.
Did it start with Tunisia earlier this year, or was it Iran that inspired the trend in 2009 or perhaps even Lebanon as far back as 2005? Was Egypt an isolated albeit epic event or is it one that truly connects the dots in a region riddled with all forms of injustice? How come 'people power' has suddenly re-awakened across the Middle East and North Africa region?