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Islam doesn't work as a political philosophy

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?
in response to reader comment: To Wedhim: Liberal democracy, if it does not teaches that one day you will die then it is false in its very essence

Submitted by Wedhimmissubmitwillingly (Canada), Oct 8, 2008 at 12:52

My dear Rafey,

You seem to misunderstand the difference between religion and philosophy. Political philosophy is the study of human social organization. A political philosopher asks: What is the ideal form of government? Not, how do I get to heaven?

You have chosen Islamic theocracy. But, no modern Islamic country has been able to make theocracy work, for authoritarianism stifles initiative and leads the nation into poverty, debt and horrible social problems. Even your country of Pakistan is trying quietly to secularize legislated Sharia and gradually remove it from the legal system. Sharia in Pakistan has led to some truly bizarre miscarriages of justice. You know precisely what I mean. Many ex-Pakistanis thank God for the day they arrived in Canada (my home), a liberal democracy where everyone is free to think the other fellow is wrong without being suicide-bombed.

Your kind invitation to semi-slavery will never be accepted in the Americas, nor in Europe. Even in Pakistan, a revolt against the religious straightjacket you are offering is under way. Islamic theocracy does not work as a political philosophy.

Liberal democracy is far from perfect, but, I must protest, it is much more than a dream. True, we grumble about our politicians, but in this country, we have had free elections and chosen our own leaders since 1790. We have demonstrated democracy's success by the success of our country's performance against the sad performances of many others in the undeveloped authoritarian world.

By the way, many "liberal" politicians I have met were devout practioners of their faith, but they all believed in the Golden Rule as the basis of their political philosophy.

Pakistan needs to base its political philosophy on the Golden Rule, which is the basis of liberal democracy, rather than Sharia which leads to monopoly of power, authoritarianism and stagnation.


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