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A democracy is a step in the right direction but not enough.

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Last Free Election
in response to reader comment: Regular elections?

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Jun 21, 2011 at 00:11

Dear Dr Pipes:

Reader Naushad Omar laments that west does not like democracy in the Islamic world when it leads to parties like Hamas winning the elections. There is nothing wrong in that. If 98% Islamic population in a country causes an Islamist party to win the election, that is a step in the right direction but not good enough. It is a step in the right direction because it gives us hope that freedom and democracy will eventually open people's mind and take them toward progress, non-violence and growth. But i9t is not good enough because a theocracy does not become good just because it is democratically elected. I will illustrate with an example that Naushad will probably understand.

Majority of population in the UK is Christian. Suppose that a fundamentalist Christian group wins the election in the UK. Also suppose that this group decides to run the country using Bible as the law and reduces the freedoms granted to all Muslims in the UK, will Naushad Omar like that sequence of events? Will British people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin like that kind of democracy? I hope not.

It is about time that we start acknowledging that Islam cannot be judged by convenient standards that it knits for itself. It needs to be judged by secular, neutral and symmetric standards!

Submitting....

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