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Islam vs. Democracy:?

Reader comment on item: Islamic Law Rules In Iraq
in response to reader comment: universally accepted laws?

Submitted by Josefina Carranza (United States), Mar 29, 2006 at 13:35

Just like Christians are divided among Catholics and Protestants, and Jews have their debates between liberals and conservatives, Muslims also have similar deeply rooted debates. Some commentators observe that because islamic law is not really a law at all, because of the many different interpretations that exist of it, there is no way that we can even talk about what any sort of codified understanding of the words "islamic law". This is related exactly then, for all you Israelites, to the Jewish idea of "torah". While some people assume torah only implies five books in the Hebrew bible, the name implies that structure and form that the Hebrew god gave to the creation of everything. This is amazingly abstract and perhaps completely different than "five books in the bible", and so "islamic law" exists as a similar term to torah and is equally difficult to express in its totality.

If half of Muslims believe one thing about their law, and the other half believe the opposite, and if we take that their differences in belief are often not based just along lines of ethnicity, politics, or their denomination of Islam, but simply around differing viewpoints about their shared faith. So just like the West "agrees to disagree" as the basis for a peaceful democracy, this sense of agreement could theoretically arrive in Iraq if someone created a democratic form of government that just trusted that whoever was in charge decided, but that their leaders were elected. Muslims problems have, largely derived from the fact that their societies have always, and I mean, always, been controlled by dictators. Some of them real good, and other not so much.

I think this shows that the invasion of Iraq is audacious but if they can build a democracy in their country that is stable and lasting, it will be a real milestone for Muslim history.

I just wish we weren't paying for it all....

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