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Rule "a democratic government cannot defeat its citizen" has a qualifier

Reader comment on item: How Can Israel Win the Palestinian Conflict?

Submitted by Prashant (India), Jan 8, 2023 at 23:32

Dear Dr Pipes,

Your assertion that a democratic government cannot defeat its citizen is true for the most part but it needs a qualification. A democratic government cannot defeat its citizen in a *violent* war. That is self-evident because democracy and violence are mutually contradictory.

But democratic governments can defeat their citizens in the wars of ideas. They can and they should. For example, in the USA our current war is against those of us who like the woke concepts and cancel culture. Should the republicans win the next elections, non-woke citizens would partner with the next government to defeat wokism and cancel culture. That is a noble goal.

Defeating Israeli Muslims in an intellectual war will be a noble goal for the Israeli government. In Israel and elsewhere in the world, Muslims need to be told that they are lagging behind. They are already a backward culture and are doubling down on it. Human intellectual progress cannot be stopped just because a guy in Arabia declared himself the last prophet and his book the last book. New prophets need to come and better books need to be written. That is how humanity has progressed since the first human was born. This needs to be done by building upon what the past books and post prophets told us instead of declaring those books and prophets as corrupted and invalid. The Quran needs to be filled with citations from the Old Testament.

People and governments need to defeat the Muslims in this intellectual war -one stubborn Muslim at a time-.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

You are right to distinguish between a violent war and a war of ideas.

But I maintain it's also not the government's business to engage in a war of ideas on its citizens. The government should protect citizens, not indoctrinate them.

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