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close, but a bit off-mark

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?

Submitted by Taj (United States), Apr 17, 2008 at 04:43

Mr. Pipes is correct in assuming that Islam and democracy are compatible - but strays in asserting that fully functioning democracies require rejection of sharia's public aspects.

There are two reasons why this fails: First, just what is fully functioning democracy...like most political systems, they exist "fully" only on theory - hence, to suggest someone build a theoretical system seems a bit lost...

Second, as I have seen from most "islamo-critics" such as Pipes, there is a lack of comprehending just what shariah actually is - much less then trying to define what a public aspect of shariah is.

Additionally, the perspective that Islam is anti-democratic is a bit presumptuous ... There is no inherent relationship, supportive or contentious between Islam or any government system. That a "poor" country institutes democracy cannot devalue its application, any more than assuming that the US is an example of why democracy "works" due to its superpower status (when superpowers have been communist or run by dictatorships).

Lastly, I would submit that the changes sought (such as civil freedoms, etc) are not new or foreign to Islam, political or otherwise - an actual historical examination of Islam, expecially at its inception reveals the first major instance of women's rights, support of the poor, the first instance of a "constitution", and even elections...


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