Skip to comments.Why We Will Never See Democracy in the Middle East
Posted on 10/08/2006 7:11:46 AM PDT by Axhandle
click here to read article
True, Christianity had it's crusades and inquisitions as well. Islam though is unique in teaching not to have Others as friends, but rather only to invite the Others to submit, and if not, to make them slaves or dead. At least in this modern world, Islam is alone in such intolerance.
Never say "never." But the problem is that you can't reliably produce democracy in countries that don't want it.
bump read later.
It's just that Islam stomps out freedom and democracy wherever it flares up. The will of the people is not allowed.
Bring Them Freedom, Or They Destroy Us
Real Clear Politics ^ | September 20, 2006 | Bernard Lewis
General Bonaparte--he wasn't yet Emperor--proclaimed to the Egyptians that he had come to them on behalf of a French Republic built on the principles of liberty and equality. We know something about the reactions to this proclamation from the extensive literature of the Middle Eastern Arab world. The idea of equality posed no great problem. Equality is very basic in Islamic belief: All true believers are equal. Of course, that still leaves three "inferior" categories of people--slaves, unbelievers and women. But in general, the concept of equality was understood. Islam never developed anything like the caste system of India to the east or the privileged aristocracies of Christian Europe to the west. Equality was something they knew, respected, and in large measure practiced. But liberty was something else.
As used in Arabic at that time, liberty was not a political but a legal term: You were free if you were not a slave. The word liberty was not used as we use it in the Western world, as a metaphor for good government. So the idea of a republic founded on principles of freedom caused some puzzlement. Some years later an Egyptian sheikh--Sheikh Rifa'a Rafi' al-Tahtawi, who went to Paris as chaplain to the first group of Egyptian students sent to Europe--wrote a book about his adventures and explained his discovery of the meaning of freedom. He wrote that when the French talk about freedom they mean what Muslims mean when they talk about justice. By equating freedom with justice, he opened a whole new phase in the political and public discourse of the Arab world, and then, more broadly, the Islamic world......
See reply #9 Click on link for more.
OMG! It's a good thing I'm sitting.
"Nonsense as usual. All ready have it in Iraq and Afgainistan."
Don't agree with the article but I wouldn't hardly call what these two countries have Democracy. Long way to go on that account.
Things have actually changed a lot in the last couple of years. I got here in January '04 and have watched the Iraqis grow in learing how to do business on a global scale. Of course, after years of isloation due to the sanctions, we've had to teach them, but they're eager learners. In my capcity of managing subcontracts and purchases, I deal with local merchants and contracting companies every day. They have really come a long way.
I haven't met an Iraqi yet who disdains capitalism. In fact, I have to tone them down sometimes and cheerfully remind them that we are the world's capitalists and don't try to pull any funny stuff on us. ;-)
A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step and they've taken many steps in the nearly three years I've been here.
I see progress.
The media and the liberals see quagmire.
P.S. Thank you for your service. I appreciate each and every one of you.
I think when you get at least 66% of an eligible voting population out to the polls under mortar fire and threats of death, they want it.
(LOTS of air activity in Bahgdad at 1 a.m. I wonder what's up?)
Ultimately, its the compulsion part of Islam that is its greatest evil. This is why the Pope challenged it directly. But its not only compulsion to accept Islam but more important, compulsion to remain that is antithetical to Western concepts of individual freedom of conscience.
First, I do not think Steven Pressfield is a "anti-west leftwinger" or even sounds like one. True he is dealing with broad, sweeping impressions born of his research in this area.
The pattern in the mid-east is for a King or Tyrant to overwhelm the tribalism of the peoples which constitute his domain. When that king is gone, the feuding factions reemerge. And I think we see that now in Iraq.
The tribe, it seems, is alway at war. And its sense of justice seems unlike that of the Hebrew or Christian eye-for-eye varity (a good thing--it introduced equity into law).
I'm not convinced that efforts to democratize will necessarily fail. Can the tap roots which feed tribalism be cut? Real Islam will continue to keep these people in this bondage, in my estimation. Western cultural influence might produce another Turkey. However, the greatest threat to tribalsm is Christianity.