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Democracy and Iraq

Reader comment on item: Iraq: "Could a New Strongman Help?"

Submitted by Vinodgupt (United States), Nov 16, 2006 at 14:50

Much water has flown in the Tigris and Euphrates and despite all the best intentions of Bush administration democracy has eluded Iraq. Actually, this is an understatement. Though President Bush has earned much ire of the American public but it is not really his fault except that he failed to understand the basic ideology that prevails in Iraq. President Bush had all the good intentions and best wishes for the Iraqi people.

Why has democracy not taken root in Iraq?

For the time being let us forget about Iraq and concentrate on India, Pakistan and Bangladesh - I say this for a purpose.

The three have common heritage, common history, common culture (to an extent except for the religion) and the same general gene pool. Till 1947 they were all part of the same country. After partition what happened?

Immediately, almost all non-Muslims were killed, converted or kicked out of Pakistan. Thus Hindu/Sikh population that was around 25% then has been reduced to about 1% today. Reportedly around a million were killed in the holocaust that followed and around 10 million renedered homeless, driven out of the land they had ever known.

Both India and Pakistan started as democracy but it didn't take long before military ruled Pakistan and has continued to do so except for brief periods.

In 1971 when Bangladesh seceded from earstwhile Pakistan, it started out as democracy but it too has seen frequent miltary rule. And since then there has been huge exodus of its minority Hindu population.

The same process is going on Kashmir -- the only Muslim majority state in India.

To the contrary despite its diversity in every known field -- languages, ethnicities, religions, philosophies -- India has remained a strong and vibrant democracy. Its Muslim population that was about 8 -- 10% after partition stands at around 15% -- a jump from about 30 million to 150 million. India is home to just about every known religion in the world.

Now what distinguishes the two or three?

The world and specially the West (forget about Hindus -- they had surrendered to Islam long time ago) should pay close attention when Islamic scholars claim "democracy is un Islamic". Let the West stop being expert on Islam and start listening to Islamic voices emanating from the Isamic seminaries -- not Islamic apologists.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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