Seminar on ‘society, culture, and politics in West Asia’ at Kerala varsity

Minister for Education P.K. Abdu Rabb, on Thursday, said the United States had appropriated the concepts of democracy, constitutionalism, and secularism for serving its interests and “hegemonic designs.”

Political developments in West Asia, particularly in Egypt, during and after the Arab Spring brought to focus how these concepts were misinterpreted for the hegemonic purpose of U.S. administration and western academia, Mr. Rabb said. He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Society, culture, and politics in West Asia,’ organised by the Department of Arabic, University of Kerala.

“After the Arab Spring, Mohammed Morsi came to power through democratic process but the U.S. administration supported a coup against Morsi. Even while championing the cause of secularism, the U.S. extended support to Israel, an “Apartheid state founded on religious identity,” he said.

Jasim Hussain, economist and former Member of Parliament, Bahrain, said the uprising that occurred mainly in Indonesia, Egypt, and to an extent in Syria was the result of poor management of economy that resulted in high poverty, unemployment, and inflation. In Libya, the unrest resulted from mismanagement of natural resources.

Former diplomat and Vice-Chairman of the Kerala State Higher Education Council T.P. Sreenivasan said it was too early to judge the results of Arab Spring.