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Calling the Fouad Ajami Brigade

Reader comment on item: After Saddam? Remaking the Mideast

Submitted by Andreas Samson (United States), Feb 11, 2003 at 17:45

Islam is fundamentally at odds with democracy because it presumes the powers of the state.

Saddam has succeeded in limiting the reach of Islam in Iraq by imposing a secular police state.

To successfully navigate the transition from military occupation to Iraqi self-rule, the US will have to impose a constitution with an iron clad church-state separation. The best chance for such a constitutionally based government to survive the inevitable Koranic assault would be the non-negotiable requirement of women's electoral participation, in secret ballots.

The key phrase here is 'impose'. Democracy is not like a candy bar from a GI. It tastes bitter to some people. As much as this situation requires a MacArthur, a Fouad Ajami brigade would be of great assistance in the long term. That is to say a Mississippi Summer of educated Arabs, including the return of former Iraqis now living in the West, if only for a few weeks or months, to register voters and proselytize the values (to say nothing of the economic advantages) of political, religious and cultural freedom we take for granted in the West.

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