4 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Muslim Countries' Lack of Democracy

Reader comment on item: The Citizen of the 21st Century: How Far, How Fast?

Submitted by Amy Mack (United States), Jul 19, 2002 at 13:26

One of the greatest obstacles to the democratization of Muslim countries not mentioned in the article is the unwillingness of many Muslim countries to implement a separation of church and state. Many Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran, are explicitly theocratic. Their legal systems are based on religious precepts, and those practicing other religions are banned and/or persecuted. Even members of minority Muslim sects, such as the Sufi, are persecuted.

How in the world can Saudi Arabia ever become a democracy when Jews are not even permitted to set foot on sacred Saudi soil, lesC they "pollute" it? Even those Arab countries which are ostensibly secular, like Syria, Libya and Iraq, consider themselves to be Muslim countries, because there is no separation in Arab thought between "Arab" and "Muslim." The religion permeates all aspects of everyday life. Only Turkey has carried out a program of societal secularization and can be called a democracy, and there are many elements within Turkey which are not at all happy with this state of affairs.

Of course, one can use the examples of England and Austria, both of which espouse official state religions, but religious tenets do not enter into the legal system of either of those countries, and members of other religious faiths are permitted to practice their religions freely.
Submitting....

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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Muslim Countries' Lack of Democracy by Amy Mack

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)