citizen of the 21st century
In this interesting interview, Daniel Pipes discusses the differences between “nations of citizens” and “nations of inhabitants:” The Citizen of the 21st Century.
The distinction goes to heart of the difference between democracy and other forms of government-the active participation of citizens versus the passivity of inhabitants or subjects. It works as a tool for looking at the Muslim world, where the great majority may be considered inhabitants, not citizens. In only a few countries has the notion of citizenry evolved, notably in Turkey, and even there, there is a long way to go to achieve the sort of citizenship Westerners are familiar with. That the Muslim world is filled with inhabitants should not surprise, for this reflects continuity with the historic Muslim experience, where the divide between ruler and ruled was particularly wide. Surmounting that gap will be a long-term challenge.