In its contemporary meaning, political sectarianism, argues Bishara, is the product of the interaction between the pre-existing social system and modern colonialism, and the way in which the latter constructed the state. Based on institutionalized, or semi-institutionalized, quotas for sects, political sectarianism, though a phenomenon within the framework of the state, may also be employed in a transnational fashion to strengthen ties of solidarity, or for purposes of outside interference in other states. The author observes the contradiction between, on the one hand, the Arab-nationalist path (a unifying national culture founded upon a common language) and the nation-state path (based on citizenship enshrining political and social rights) and, on the other, sectarianism, for these two paths are a means for assimilation that cut across the division of society into tribal or regional groups. In sum, in the Arab Levant, Arab nationalism is not the antithesis of the nation state, but rather one of the foundations for its unity. The alternative, argues Bishara, is sectarian fragmentation or even social and regional fragmentation. Bishara offers the case of Lebanon and Iraq as examples in the transformation of the social sect into the political sect and refers to political religiosity, noting that in multi-confessional societies, politicized religiosity automatically ends up in political sectarianism, as can be seen in the process of the transformation and dismantling of “other” groups, religions, or confessions into minorities, and the behavior of the majorities according to a sectarian mentality. Bishara warns how monitoring these transformations constitutes the major challenge confronting Arab researches when analyzing sectarianism.