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Isham can only be defeated by force.

Reader comment on item: Is Radical Islam in Decline?
in response to reader comment: We don't need to impress Muslims; just highlight their hypocrisy

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Sep 26, 2016 at 04:53

HI, Prashant. I need to put your statement in front of me, and look at it for a while:

"We just need to ask them every day of the week: "if democracy is so good for people in India, USA, Western Europe and almost every other Muslim-minority country that Muslims do not get tired of defending their democratic rights in these countries, how come it is not so good in the Islamic theocracies."

First, let's check what you said. A map of the distribution of the "Democracy Index" is at

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/2015_Democracy_Index.svg/1280px-2015_Democracy_Index.svg.png

Now, let's see where democracy works and where it doesn't:

WORKS:

1. America "A" (all except America "B")
2. Africa "A" -- states that are variously Christian and Muslim, English-speaking and French speaking.
3. Christian EU countries
4. East Asian countries with strong political ties to the US. These may be partly Mahayana Buddhist (Mongolia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore & Korea), Christian (Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia & New Zealand) or Muslim (Indonesia & Malaysia), or Therevada Buddhist (Sri Lanka).
5. India (Hindu), Israel (Jewish), and Tunisia (Muslim)

DOESN'T WORK:

1. America "B": The Bolivarian Alliance (leftist), and Guatemala, Nicaragua and Haiti (countries with a strong history of US paternalism).
2. Africa "B" -- states which, like group "A", are not identified with any particular religion nor colonial history
3. Muslim and mixed EU countries
4. Countries closely associated with either (Christian) Russia or (Buddhist & Atheist) China; also most Theravada Buddhist countries (but not Sri Lanka)
5. All the Middle East & South Asia (including Christian Georgia, Hindu Nepal and Muslim everything else) except Tunisia, Israel, India and Sri Lanka.

I don't see a clear 1:1 correspondence between religion and democracy. By narrowing the category of non-democratic countries to Islamic THEOCRACIES, let me see what we come up with:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Countries_with_Sharia_rule.png

STRICTLY SHARIA LAW:

Libya, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Iran and (not shown on the map) Da'esh.

None of those are democracies, of course; but then, being under Sharia Law DEFINES a country as not being democratic.

STATE-LEVEL SHARIA, ALONG WITH OTHER SYSTEMS:

Mauritania, Egypt, Djibouti, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Afghanistan, Pakistan (all non-democratic), along with democracies: Tunisia, Malaysia

The most non-democratic countries in the world, meanwhile, include State Sharia states Saudi Arabia, Syria (and of course, Da'esh); but also non-Sharia Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Chad and Guinea-Bissau; and Christian Equatorial Guinea and Central African R.; as well as Communist Atheist North Korea.

I have carefully considered what you said; but I can only conclude that democracy does not fall exactly along religious lines. If it did, Taiwan and PR China would have the same political system; so would N. and S. Korea, India and Nepal, Cuba and Mexico, Sri Lanka and Burma, and Russia and Bulgaria. What, then CAN I conclude?

1. It is impossible for a strictly Sharia-ruled country to be democratic; just as it's impossible for an absolute monarchy or a Communist state to be democratic. This is a trivial case, the result of definition.
2. Attaining democracy is not a guaranty the the state will become highly Islamist and Sharia-controlled. The case of Malaysia exemplifies this, as well as the failed democratic experiment in Libya.
3. Because fundamentalist Islam aims to establish Sharia law, the chances of Democracy taking hold in fundamentalist countries are slim. This is why Saudi Arabia probably CANNOT become a democracy without a violent overthrow of the monarchy; but more lenient Shafi Muslims in Indonesia can tolerate it.

In all this, I can't think of any example in history, in which accepting democracy has led to the abandoning of Islam. Islam has been defeated, only through overwhelming armed opposition. This is how it was defeated in India, both by the Rajputs and Sikhs, and by the British; and even there, it did not lead to mass conversion.

Submitting....

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Mark my comment as a response to Isham can only be defeated by force. by Michael S

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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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