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Democracy & Islam 2

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?
in response to reader comment: True democracy

Submitted by Ian (United Kingdom), Apr 18, 2008 at 04:31

Rebecca, your coment is entirely apt. If Muslim countries elect Islamic governments in a truly democratic way, such as you describe but recognise that your list of qualifications is unfinished, then they must be supported by the west.

The danger that is apparent is that Islamists are using those parts of democracy that allows them to claim fair and democratic elections have been held and then abusing the process. I feel for the people of Egypt and others who are not even being allowed to get that far. In Turkey, if Erdogan is doing as Dr Pipes describes he will be found out but not before many have died as a consequence. In Palestine, Hamas are claiming democratic legitimacy while holding illegitimate aims and the same applies to Hisbollah in Lebanon and in Iran.

But I am afraid that this behaviour is part of the path that the Judaeo-Christian countries followed and as Denis McEoin has said here, these countries had to 'make it up as we went along' so taking hundreds of years - I would add that it was in a less globalised, tecnologically advanced and numerically populated world.

Democratisation is happening in a far shorter period for the Islamic world and we must expect turbulence but be vigilant as to the consequences, the worst of which have nuclear war implications. I would expect that the problem will be substantially resolved by the middle of this century because the world cannot sustain the conflict that a longer process implies. In other words, I think it is going to be a[n] (historically) short and bloody process, and it is under way now.

And if it is to ultimately be a successful process for mankind as a whole, Sufism will have to overturn Salafism as the outer face of Islam to the world, and economic advancement will have to come rapidly, in order to replace the tribe as the unit of society that demands frequent irrational loyalty.

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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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