4 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Religion and Democracy

Reader comment on item: Islam and Democracy - Much Hard Work Needed

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Feb 11, 2011 at 19:26

With all due respect to Dr. Pipes, Christianity did not "evolve" to democracy. The democratic/republican experiment found a seedbed in certain portions of the Reformation. Even before the Reformation, Roman Catholicism had a sense of the political supremacy of law (which reappeared in Calvinism in a more thorough form) and a distinction between (rather than a separation of) church and state. The root of the natural law idea can even be found in Romans 2:14-15--and Alasdair MacIntyre isn't the only scholar to note how Hume's version of "natural law" smacks of Calvinism; Diderot's of Catholicism; and Kant's of the more Pietistic strain of Lutheranism. Rule of law and government as compact have roots in Christian theology which they do not appear to have in Islam.

Further, much of the Islamic world's openness to 20th century totalitarianism seems to me to be a reaction against classical liberal ideals introduced by British and French colonialists. It must seem to many serious Muslims that the classical liberal doctrines of limited government, political compact, and the like are "Christian products", and hence to be rejected. Certainly Seyyid Qutb and Maulana Maududi seemed to think so; and given the role of the Ikhwan in Egypt's unrest, we'll probably be hearing more of the former's ideology in the not-too-distant future.

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 Religion and Democracy by Peter Herz

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.)