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anxious times for Turkey

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?

Submitted by trans-parere (Canada), Apr 17, 2008 at 11:45

I have two bones of contention as to "using" democracy.

First I would like to suggest that democracy is not a tool to be used to impose a destructive ideology. I feel this negates HAMAS and any association to democratic process or ideals. The basis for the existence of a Palestinian Authority is not to create a viable society yet rather to inhibit [to bring to ruin] the efforts and existence of a neighbouring society. The sum existence of Palestine is codified in the Palestinian fedayeen mandate and the original PLO Charter that declared the establishment of Israel "illegal, null and void" and outlined goals to "liberate the homeland" via armed struggle. Palestinian statehood was not mentioned. The idea of statehood wasn't added until 1974.

The Palestinians have had as many years and given sufficient aid and resources to develop into a viable and constructive society. They have chosen a self-destructive, regressive and hateful path. That any people would freely elect such a national philosophy for self-expression should be by no means associated with the democratic process or imply democratic ideals.

Secondly I would like to comment on Recep Erdogan's idea that "Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off." I would say the true expression of democracy is not to choose a stop that is comfortably in line with a national or religious or cultural thinking. Rather to add stops along the way to be even more inclusive while protecting the rights of the individual. Democracy is not a closed circuit or a shopping mall. True democracy. Functional democracy is like a piece of fruit hanging from a limb just above reach. We are compelled to find a way to reach it. We do, and we are rewarded with the taste of our success. And every time we return to that tree the piece of fruit we want is just a little out of reach and we must improve our skills that much more. Democracy is about individual freedom. But it ain't free and getting off anywhere brings the ride to full stop.

Please forgive my abuse of the poetic license. :-) I just can not fathom this great fear of democracy. Most certainly, we of the free world have not been successful in relating the fullness of the real advantages inherent with in democracy and a free society.

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. but this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy of the climb."
Sir Winston Churchill

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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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