There is more: the nation-state shifts allegiance from God to state. In return, it promises its citizens the benefits of socio-economic development in this life. Here too the nation-state conflicts with Islam. For it is precisely in the area of development that Islam has generally failed to evolve an ethos, to mobilize the masses for improving the quality of life in this life on the road to the next. The central challenge in the Muslim world remains underdevelopment: how to liberate the masses from poverty, illiteracy and oppression. How should this challenge be conducted, who should lead it, and should it rest on secular or Islamic rules? It is over these questions that the forces of traditionalism and modernity are so fundamentally divided.