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Democracy & Islam

Reader comment on item: [The Hamas Electoral Victory:] Democracy's Bitter Fruit

Submitted by Ibrodsky (United States), Jan 27, 2006 at 13:45

I respectfully disagree with you on two key issues. I wonder if you have directly addressed these issues so I can better understand your thinking...

1. Moderate Islam is the answer - I don't think there is such a thing as "moderate Islam." There are moderate people who are Muslims, but their moderation seems to be a function of their personal rejection of specific aspects of Islam. There won't be "moderate Islam" until Islamic thought leaders consciously and publicly call for reform and win broad acceptance for the same.

2. Islam not a problem for Muslim democracies - I wholeheartedly agree that the West must reject and isolate Hamastan. Instead, the West will probably demand Hamas moderate what it says, and they will do that--in English at least--to get the $100 millions. But the real problem with elections in many Muslim lands is Islam's fierce opposition to separation of mosque and state and the widespread belief among Muslims that "democracy" is a hypocritical system employed by non-Muslims to attack their religion and interfere in their affairs.

To wit, democracy is only successful when the participating parties are truly committed to democratic institutions and processes. In Muslim countries, elections are more often than not either rigged, a popularity contest for approved candidates, or a PR stunt for Western consumption. A totalitarian party only uses elections as a tactic to gain power and confuse adversaries.

And I disagree with those who say it was good that Hamas won because it will clarify the nature of the Palestinian beast. Actually, what it will do is confuse the West even more. Now, if Israel assassinates Hamas leaders the Muslim world will accuse Israel of attacking the democratically-elected ruling party. And they will have a point.

The West desparately needs leaders who aren't afraid to denounce the Palestinian people for collectively embracing terrorism. That will require genuine war-time leaders--something I'm afraid we don't have right now..

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