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Fundamental difference

Reader comment on item: Two Opposing Views of the Islamist Threat

Submitted by anotherview (Mexico), Aug 27, 2016 at 12:06

This statement like most all others fails to distinguish the fundamental difference between the two modes of governance: Democracy and Theocracy. They remain forever incompatible owing to their views of human nature.

Theocracy (rule by priests) as practiced by Islam requires the individual to submit himself first to a Supreme Being: Allah. The identity of the individual as such submerges within a religious context that determines the conduct of his daily life. His human nature in operation flows from his relation to Allah, whose strictures circumscribe everything social, civil, political, and military. Imams (clerics) interpret this relation by their application of ancient holy text found in the Koran and associated writings. The workings of justice happen by the word of these imams.

Democracy (rule by the people) requires an individual to live under the Rule of Law, an organizing principle that generally expresses itself in non-religious (secular) terms, as laws. It allows for religious practice as the individual prefers. This approach presumes an inherent set of rights inseperable from humans, including a dignity commanding universal respect. Humans describe these rights in writing, usually in a constitution for all. Priests have no say binding on man for the conduct of daily life. The military answers to the political leadership. Courts of law administer justice.

One might say that under Islam (a theocracy), human nature receives its agency and validity only by way of a definition from religion.

Under democracy, one might say that human nature pre-exists any religion or writing. Man defines human nature in light of human wisdom while taking account of the human condition.

More simply put, we have a choice here, to live under priests or under law.

These two ways of living cannot co-exist. In fact, Islam calls for rubbing out all other beliefs, by force if necessary. This call thus induces the democracies, out of necessity, to organize themselves to defeat the aim of Islam to spread itself at the expense of democracy.

Submitting....

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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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