December 02, 2006
Islamic countries, moreover, are not rejecting Western democracy because they havenÂ’t experienced it. They reject it on principle. For them, the presidentÂ’s euphonious rhetoric about democratic empowerment is offensive. They believe, sincerely, that authority to rule comes not from the people but from Allah; that there is no separation of religion and politics; that free people do not have authority to legislate contrary to Islamic law; that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims, and men to women; and that violent jihad is a duty whenever Muslims deem themselves under attack Â… no matter how speciously.
These people are not morons. They adhere to a highly developed belief system that is centuries old, wildly successful, and for which many are willing to die. They havenÂ’t refused to democratize because the Federalist Papers are not yet out in Arabic. They decline because their leaders have freely chosen to decline. They see us as the mortal enemy of the life they believe Allah commands. Their demurral is wrong, but it is principled, not ignorant. And we insult them by suggesting otherwise.
Democratizing such cultures Â— in anything we would recognize as Â“democracyÂ” Â— is the work of generations. It is a cultural phenomenon. It is not accomplished by elections and facile constitution writing Â… especially, constitutions that shun Madisonian democracy for the State DepartmentÂ’s preferred establishment of Islam and its adhesive sharia law as the state religion.
Having just read about the Constitutional Convention in my A Pocket History of the United States, I simply can't wrap my brain around this.
Posted by: david foster at December 02, 2006 01:14 PM (/Z304)
Posted by: Will at December 07, 2006 09:52 AM (QRBGL)
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