A very perceptive article. However, there are a few historical inaccuracies. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was not as "secular" as Mr. Usher makes him out to be and Gen. Zia was far less of a true "Islamist" as well.
First of all, Pakistan was once again declared an "Islamic Republic" in 1973, so in that sense, Bhutto would have to likewise be called an "Islamist" as well. Secondly, compulsory religious instruction was decreed under Bhutto and one of his slogans was "Islamic socialism." Hardly the description of a true secularist. On the other hand, like Bhutto, Gen. Zia also "courted cheap Islamic popularity" of an even harsher nature. In conclusion, both men were not much different in their politically expedient approach to true Islam. See G.H. Jansen, Militant Islam (Harper, 1979), pp. 137-9.
Chula Vista, CA
Dec 30 2007 - 6:43pm