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Islam and Democracy

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?

Submitted by OldBlue64 (United States), Apr 17, 2008 at 12:03

Daniel:

You ask "Why should Islam's transition (to democracy) be smoother or easier (than Christianity's transition to democracy)? The answer is this. Europe fell into monarchy and partial theocracy during the Middle Ages becasue the plain language of the Bible was ignored, especially the two central ideas of the supremacy of the individual (free will) and the separation of church and state. The Catholic church prior to the Reformation ignored both.

Luther returned Europe to these two cardinal biblical principles, and thereby gave rise both to democracy and western civilization. The related idea that man could discover the wonders of God's kingdom gave rise to science, which happened in post-Reformation Europe and nowhere else on earth.

Islam, in the Koran, contains no such principles, and in fact welds church and state together. It is deterministic rather than individualistic, thus denying free will. That is why science never arose in Islam, and why there are no true universities even today in Islamic countries.

Democracy may arise in countries like Iraq, but it will only be because Islam has been marginalized.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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