This is a very interesting statement, one which need not be applied solely to Extremist Islam. Communism was about a counter-regime, as were the French and America revolutions. The Open Gov movement has something of a counter-regime vibe to it, as do movements like the Tea Party and Occupy.
Then there's this:
And the state religious establishments further entangle politics and religion by seeking to confer the legitimacy of Islamic law on autocratic rulers.
Do leaders wrap themselves in the flag, try to co-opt or replace national symbols, make it feel like they are the natural governing party? Of course they do.
“In an authoritarian society, there is no room for reasoned debate, so it is not surprising that irrational religious discourse is going to flourish in certain quarters of Egypt or the Arab world,” argued Mohammad Fadel, an Egyptian-American Islamic legal scholar at the University of Toronto. “But the answer of these governments has been to double down on repression and that is only likely to increase the extremism.”
How do you define authoritarian?
Does irrational discourse do things like ignore evidence in favour of ideological positions?
Have different forms of clamping down oppositional voices been introduced in countries closer to and including home?
I wonder if we're looking at outliers, or a global trend.
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