Ignorance is bliss
Reader comment on item: The Citizen of the 21st Century: How Far, How Fast?
Submitted by Iqbalur Rehman (India), Nov 22, 2002 at 06:25Whenever I see anyone expressing his views on the subject of Islam, it is generally an uniformed and ignorant view. The other problem with the expressed view is that it tries to understand Islam from a western world view. That approach is like trying to understand oneself through other person's eyes.
The simple issue which is deliberately or otherwise overlooked is that democracy is not westernization.
It does not include within its meaning westernization or for that matter its culture. Democracy simply stands for dialogue, deliberation and conflict resolution. It also stands for economic , political, social and legal equality and justice. It stands for the people's participation in decision-making which is, in the present circumstances, possible only through people's representatives.
Democracy otherwise means giving people choices. It means freedom and liberty. But freedom and liberty have no universal meanings. And nowhere are they absolute. Everywhere they are restricted. The difference is only of degrees. And these degrees are determined by relative existing conditions and the world view each community entertains.
Freedom and liberty which are considered essential ingredients of democracy are not the creation of Plato, Aristotle, Mill or for that matter any other philospher, either European or Asian.
They are the gift of God to humanity, not the invention or creation of the west which proclaims a monopoly on democracy
I will not exaggerate if I say tha Islam means democracy.
Islam stands for essential and natural equality of mankind. It gives freedom to each and every one to prefer what one likes. There is no compulsion in religion. Islam advocates that God created man and bestowed him with faculty to decide what is good for him.
Submission to the will of God or to live otherwise is the choice of man, not of compulsion and coercion.The basic spirit of Islam is democracy.
One can understand the true spirit of Islam only when one approches it objectively without preconcieved notions of righteousness and universality.
The prevailing anti democratic systems of governance in Muslim world are not in any sense Islamic. They are infact anti-Isalmic.
In Islam despotism or kingship has no place.The problem is that the name of religion is used to legitimise such governance.
One should be open, unbiased and above all, not ignorant when he formulates his views and opinions on any subject.
It is this that makes a man a man.
An unexamined life is unliveable for a real man (Aristotle)
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".
Reader comments (45) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes