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Disappointing

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Apr 19, 2008 at 17:40

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I remember a greatly admired relative-by-marriage who held important governments positions in another country who said to me, in response to the one major issue we disagreed on, you can't kill a billion Muslims. We hadn't been talking in such stark terms, but this was what he suddenly came up with.

Well, later on, it occurred to me I should have said that in a much less populous world, we didn't have to kill 80,000,000 Germans to defeat an extremely competent war machine. And we didn't have to kill 120,000,000 Japanese to defeat another fanatical enemy.

But we did have to defeat them, morally as well as militarily. And not only, it might be noted, did they accept their defeat, but they have both come back from it most remarkably for their own benefit, and the world's.

More recently , we didn't have to defeat 300,000,000 Soviets in actual warfare to defeat the gigantic military power of the USSR, but we did have to confront them directly and eventually defeat them morally (as well as economically).

Islam as a civilization, although considerably larger in mere bodies, has nothing like the coherence of those three enemies, and except for nuclear weapons potentially, has nothing like their military strength or organization.

Also, sheer (and mere) numbers can cut both ways. Although it can always produce a violent minority of religious lunatics, it seems much more likely that Islam will drown in numbers, rendering itself , in its larger countries through sheer reckless fecundity, permanently incapable of ever achieving even a minimum of prosperity for its masses. Which in turn is chiefly due to the radical disempowerment of its women by the benighted doctrines infesting the minds of its men.

There is nothing in the many unfortunate centuries of Islamic history to suggest anything remotely comparable to the practical knowledge and wisdom generated by the Jewish cultural tradition of Talmudic learning, or the successive periods of the rise of Science, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the Social Welfare state in the Western world. (Whatever supposed 'great ages' Islam had were always in spite or religion, not because of it)

Islam is not only a totalitarian religion, but from another point of view a pathetic failure at establishing itself even when it claims to be supreme. What this means is that while all-demanding of its believers, at the same time it has been since its very founding completely incapable of overcoming tribal traditions which its champions and propagandists claim are incompatible with it.

So, unfortunately, it's hard to think of anything more depressing or confusing, than a recommendation to just sit back, with no grounds for any rational hope,and wistfully wait for Islam to decide to let democracy into its mindset.

On the contrary, I would expect responsible leadership in the West to suggest that Muslims may embrace their religion all they want, but they better get used to never having peace or prosperity in their midst as a result. And they better get used to never having a State for the violence-obsessed Palestinians.

Ron Thompson

postscript I think it was in the Clash of Civilizations (the 1996 book) that Samuel Huntington said Israel was the most successful National Liberation movement of the 20th century, and the Palestinian effort the most complete failure. Why isn't that the threshold thought for every consideration about the respect due the religion of Islam, either among the Palestinians where the religions condones and cheers suicide bombings, or among Muslims worldwide, where the religion offers not the slightest condemnation nor has provoked a single public demonstration anywhere against the mounting fratricide of suicide bombers targeting Iraqi civilians. Islam's clerics demanded widespread riots over a cartoon portraying Muhammed as a terrorist, but remain deafeningly silent when suicide bombers repeatedly decimate civilian crowds attending funerals or trying to go to market.

We need to consider that a religion that has no concept of nonviolence, and nothing remotely resembling a Golden Rule in its teachings, is never going to embrace or tolerate Democracy.

Submitting....

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