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Democracy and Islam ARE Compatible

Reader comment on item: Caught My Eye - Noteworthy Quotes

Submitted by Erik C (United States), Dec 25, 2005 at 11:48

Mr. Pipes,
In listening to the Sunday news shows discuss the state of the constitution and government in Iraq, it struck me that so much of the comments were on convincing the Iraqi people to accept the new government and constitution, and in particular that the Iraqi people need to believe they are pledging allegiance to a GOVERNMENT, not the particular LEADER.
And it seems to me that this stems from the artificial division that Islamic clerics have driven between Islama and democracy. Islamic clerics have declared that democracy is non-Islamic because democracy expresses the "will of the people" whereas Islam declares the "will of Allah."
When one looks at the Founding Fathers, their genius was in putting forth - and implementing - the idea that the "will of God" is expressed through the collected voice of the people, as opposed to the then-prevalent thought that the "will of God" is expressed through the sovereign. So they did not separate God from democracy - God is inherent in democracy, in their philosophy.

It seems ot me that a chief copmponent of US policy in the Muslim world should be to find and convince Muslim clerics that the "will of Allah" CAN be expressed through the voice of the electorate, and that this is NOT incompatible with Islam. I realize that this is, essentially, asking these guys to give up their political power. But that is EXACTLY why the Founding Fathers are so revered: they created a government that did not need them to run it.

Thank you for considering this email.

Merry Christmas to you, your family, and all of our soldiers.

Erik C
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