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Cause & Effect - Islam or Tyranny?

Reader comment on item: Civil War in Iraq?

Submitted by Al Gordon (Canada), Feb 28, 2006 at 16:31

A popular analysis of the Muslim world has been that its profound backwardness in every field of human endeavor was due to the tyrannical regimes that ruled Muslim nations and that denied their human potential for advancing beyond the Dark Ages.

Recent events may force us to question that assumption. Since there is no truly free and stable Muslim democracy in the world comparable to a Western democracy, could cause and effect be the reverse of prevailing wisdom? In other words, are regimes ranging from Saddam Hussein (at the worst end of the scale) to Turkey (at the best end of the scale, but slipping rapidly) the only way to govern Muslim nations? Can individual freedom and democracy ever co-exist with Muslim values? Are Muslims backwards because of their tyrannical rulers, or do they have tyrannical rulers because they are Muslim?

Given an opportunity for individual freedom and democracy, it is now evident how that opportunity has been perverted by Iraqis and Palestinians into yet another mechanism to maintain their barbarism.

Yet there is Turkey, in which a once brutal visionary leader, Kemal Ataturk, did create a civilized Muslim state. There are the Kurds who seem to have aspirations beyond the rage and blood lust of their fellow Iraqis. And there are Morocco and Indonesia, both tenuously democratic. Will the exceptions become the rule, or are they transient aberrations that will yield to a Muslim world governed by tyranny because only tyranny can rule Muslims?

This question has serious implications for Muslim immigration into the West. If around the world, the successful governance of Muslims requires some degree of tyranny an brutality, then how can such values co-exist with the Western ideal of individual liberty? Clearly, co-existence has reached the breaking point in Denmark, France, Britain, Spain, Thailand and the Philippines. None of these democracies has found the magic bullet for peaceful co-existence with Muslims. What makes North America think it is different?
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