The Dangers of Democracy


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The parliamentary elections that have begun in Egypt will impress only the most starry-eyed of democracy champions. These are the people who, like Senator Joe Lieberman, think that the “Arab Spring” is all about people “demanding lives of democracy, dignity, economic opportunity, and involvement in the modern world.” What we’ve seen so far instead is the growing success of Islamist parties demanding a greater role for Islam and shari’a law in running their countries. Our failure of imagination that has reduced events in the Middle East to our own historical paradigms and ideals continues to compromise our foreign policy in that region, and endanger our national interests.

For example, since we prize freedom, human rights, separation of church and state, and tolerance for a variety of ways for individuals to pursue happiness, we think everybody else values or defines those ideas the same way we do. But what we call freedom, many Muslims see as a soul-destroying license and destructive self-indulgence. As the Ayatollah Khomeini preached in 1979, such Western-style freedom is a “freedom that will corrupt our youth, freedom that will pave the way to the oppressor, freedom that will drag our nation to the bottom.” Decades earlier, Muslim Brothers theorist Sayyid Qutb, along with Khomeini the most critical influence on neo-jihadism, likewise had scorned Western “individual freedom, devoid of human sympathy and responsibility for relatives.” Similarly, al Qaeda theorist Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote, “The freedom we want is not the freedom to use women as commodities . . . it is not the freedom of AIDS and an industry of obscenities and homosexual marriage.” For the faithful, true freedom is the freedom to live as an observant Muslim in harmony with Allah’s precepts, something far different from what we in the West mean by political freedom. So too with our ideal of human rights, which in Islamic terms means the right to be a faithful Muslim without any interference. That’s why Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam reads, “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’a.”

This failure to imagine the world-view of those unlike us is worsened by our failure to understand that “democracy” is more than just the mechanics of voting. As G.K. Chesterton said, “We shall have real Democracy, when . . . the ordinary man will decide not only how he will vote, but what he is going to vote about.” The evidence of elections in the Middle East so far––in Algeria, Gaza, Lebanon, and Tunisia, which have all seen Islamist parties triumph––suggests that most ordinary Muslims want democracy not to institutionalize Western goods and ideals such as personal freedom, individual rights, or tolerance for minorities, but to integrate more thoroughly Islam and shari’a into government. In Egypt this is the explicit program of the organization poised for success in the democratic elections, the Muslim Brothers. Their 2007 draft platform proclaimed that “Islam is the official state religion” and “the Islamic shari’a is the main source for legislation.” Nor are these demands for more religion in government coming just from a well-organized, unified minority. In a Pew poll from 2010, 85% of Egyptians said Islam’s influence on politics is positive, 95% said that it is good that Islam plays a large role in politics, 59% identified with Islamic fundamentalists, 54% favored gender segregation in the workplace, 82% favored stoning adulterers, 77% favored whippings and cutting off the hands of thieves and robbers, and 84% favored death for those leaving Islam.

Nor will we see in Egypt the sort of religious tolerance sanctioned by the Western separation of church and state. So far this year, 80 Christian Copts have been murdered, some by soldiers, and their churches attacked and destroyed. The intolerance that breeds such violence finds its sanction in traditional Islam, at least according to Sheik Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Cairo’s prestigious Al Azhar University. Gomaa calls Christians “infidels” and quotes the Koran’s injunction to “Fight … the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] until they pay the Jizya [tribute] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” This faith-sanctioned intolerance explains why only 48% of Egyptians look favorably on Christians, despite the presence of 8 million Christian Copts, and a scant 2% look favorably on Jews. It is hard to see how a liberal democracy as we understand it can flourish in such an environment of intolerance.

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  • Ghulam Muhammed

    Just as Muslim political parties, now ascendant in many Arab countries, have manifestly tried to compromise and come to terms with other liberal and secular co-citizens, it is now time that Liberals and secular citizens too, start cooperating and accommodating majority views that give more emphasis to Islamic percepts even in daily life, without any necessary political compulsions. In wider Muslim world, there is an overwhelming perception, that it is the Jewish/Zionist elements that have convinced themselves, that countering Islam and Muslim political revival is the only existentialist recourse to the survival of western and Zionist world view. In fact, history is rampant as to how clash of civilizations too end up with new permutations and combinations, without necessarily settling the differences through wars and propaganda.

    • Steeloak

      "it is now time that Liberals and secular citizens too, start cooperating and accommodating majority views that give more emphasis to Islamic percepts even in daily life, without any necessary political compulsions."

      In other words, they should pay the Jizyah tax and accept their status as Dhimmis.

      • tagalog

        I think it's time that liberals and secular citizens start accommodating majority Christian views in this country, without political and judicial compulsions.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      In other words, either convert to Islam, submit to dhimmitude, or die. Isn't that the gist of what you are saying?

    • tanstaafl

      No. I will never submit.

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    The term "Democracy" means only that some things are decided by voting majority. Yet the properties of majorities dramatically differ from nation to nation. Therefore it is ludicrous to presume as though any democracy is like the Western democracy, and then to get surprised that they do not match well.

    1) The Western democracy is specifically Judeo-Christian democracy based on the Christianity, Judaism (and some concepts inherited from ancient Romans and Greeks).

    2) The Western democracy therefore must be always attached to Christianity no less than so called islamic democracy (always short term and volatile) is attached to islam.

    3) Attempts to detach Western democracy from Christianity are destructive and senseless.

    4) The coinage "Separation of Church and state" is borrowed from Bolsheviks! In the Western world this concept must only mean that religious institutions are not in the government. Yet the religion of a nation MUST be the main source of laws and morality proper to this nation.
    http://www.lc.org/media/9980/attachments/flyer_fo

    5) It is deplorable that

    " … in no Christian country at the present time can religious leaders count on the degree of belief and participation that remains normal in Muslim lands."

    That alone means decadence, decay, and finally defeat of the most successful achievement in the human history.

    • tarleton

      … in no Christian country at the present time can religious leaders count on the degree of belief and participation that remains normal in Muslim lands."

      —————————————————————
      Well , that's hardly surprising considering that most moslems have a quasi medieval outlook on the world …kinda like 16th century europe ….western man has ''grown up '' , matured , thawed out and became enlightened
      Christendom has died a natural death here in europe ,and within a generation or two it will be same in the US …people in the western democracies have been schooled in logic and reason producing a rational, sophisticated view of things …fundamentalist christianity is hopelessly anacrhonistic …we have got to find some belief system to replace it

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Christendom has died a natural death here in europe ,and within a generation or two it will be same in the US

        If that happens here in the USA as well, then the USA exactly like you Euroloons will die out too. As hedonistic secular leftists don't reproduce at near replacement levels. In fact, the Euroloons are dying out exactly because secular leftism killed Christendom and in the process transformed the continent of Europe into the continent of Euroloons. Eventually Euroloon secular leftism will die out and when that happens all that will be remaining will be Christians and Jews. However, by that time they will be a small minority in whatever fills the vacuum to replace Euroloon secular leftism.

        ..people in the western democracies have been schooled in logic and reason producing a rational, sophisticated view of things .

        Really? Then why are they incapable of using logic and reasoning to reproduce at replacement levels? In addition, why are they incapable of defending their own cultural heritage?

        .fundamentalist christianity is hopelessly anacrhonistic …we have got to find some belief system to replace it

        Don't worry, you Euroloons will all be dead and long gone before that ever happens. In other words, it will be a cold day in hell before that ever happens.

        • tarleton

          dude , where have you been the last 40 years …science is in the process of destroying religious fundamentalism here in the West …there may well be pockets of provincialism out there in the US , but that religious frame of mind belongs back in the 19th century …you folks are religious Luddites …hopelessly anachronistic true believers in your own little worlds

    • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

      tarleton – "…People in the western democracies have been schooled in logic and reason producing a rational, sophisticated view of things"…

      … such as unbridled hedonism, incapability to zip one's pants and wallets, legitimization and "celebration" of homosexuality (or even bestiality – in the Netherlands), self cannibalization of the own culture and prostration before islam… Great!

      Without a firm Judeo-Christian belief the Western humanity is incapable even to procreate, because bringing and raising children is nothing but an unpaid and unpleasant job for them.

      The Western democracy and civilization is the essence of Christianity and it is doomed if the authority of Christianity is not restored…

      • tarleton

        rational western man is NEVER again going to have a silly fundamentalist view of the Bible …talking snakes , miracles , virgin births , floods etc …it's clearly sometype of psychosis that holds the mind in a python like grip …Western man has grown up intellectually , matured and became rational ….all that's left of christendom is the dying embers of a once mighty fire
        It works just fine for africans and other folks in developing world countries but it will never again have an impact on the West , except maybe in a metaphorical and allagorical type of way

        • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

          "Rational western man" like you shows a very shallow understanding of science, religion, and of necessity that a society rely on a firm axiomatic given by the Highest authority.

          "Rational western men" therefore is doomed to disappear (see the above and below).

          • tarleton

            Well if rational man is doomed to disappear then so be it …but we will face our existential despair manfully without engaging in this type of child-like religious fantasies ….grow up man , and free your mind from these kind of silly delusions …you folks are religious Luddites

      • tarleton

        alex wrote
        The Western democracy and civilization is the essence of Christianity and it is doomed if the authority of Christianity is not restored…
        —————————————
        makes you wonder how the Greeks had a democracy of sorts before jesus was even a twinkle in God's eye

        ''doomed if the authority of xianity is not restored '' ?…….yes xianity has a long history of incestious relationships with ''authoritarian '' regimes such as Franco's spain and the despotic czarist regimes of Russia ..it was like Trotsky said '' a country of icons and cockroaches ''….it's hardly surprising there was a revolution that swept those parasites out of there

  • radicalconservative

    We forget the important role of cultural assumptions, esp. our religious sensibilities that even rabidly anti-Christian liberals draw from. Western liberals have no idea how important Christianity is (was) to our development. Respect for individuals as individuals is not shared by Islam.

  • oldtimer

    The Muslims have been trying to rewrite history to make them look good in the eyes of the world,but they have not changed. Someone said, if you tell a lie enough it becomes true.
    Now they are rewriting the dictionary. Their idea of democracy is demonocracy.

  • alexander

    FULL U.S. employment! Stopping terrorism by defunding it! Simple solutions:
    drill wherever possible.Oh, it "does not look nice"?
    Unemployment lines and dead Americans look better?

  • Marty

    Goodness, 2 percent of egyptians have a favorable impression of Jews. That's more than 1.5 million people. One can only wonder if these egyptians have courage that is rare among arabs and muslims or if they didn't completely understand the question.

  • mrbean

    Egypt will become a an Islamic Republic and openly fund Palestinian terrorism in Gaza against Israel. This clandestine Muslim Marxist in the oval office and his post menopausal hag Secretary of State have bungled badly in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood run chaos, Libya, Syrian chaos, Pakistan, and Iran with over 100 North Korean scientists, engineers, and technicians working in Iran will soon have nuclear weapons. The result will be a very large Mid East war whether we want it or not.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Given these faith-based attitudes,

    Hmm…Islam is not faith-based. In fact, Islam requires total, complete, and unconditional submission to the will of Allah. Thus, unlike in faith-based religions where adherents are perfectly free to question and even challenge the texts and tenets of their respective religions or to leave their respective religions or convert to another religion altogether if they so desire, in Islam, on the other hand, because the freedom of conscience is forbidden, those same actions, blasphemy in the first instance and apostasy in the second, are capital offenses.

    Indeed, what faith-based religions punish blasphemy and apostasy via capital punishment? The answer, of course, is none of them do. Proving irrefutably at the same time that Islam is not a faith-based religion as it pretends to be to dupe the societies it intends to subjugate via the imposition of Sharia into a very draconian form of Islamic totalitarianism to make Islam supreme.

    As Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan puts it, “Democracy is like a train. We shall get out when we arrive at the station we want.”

    Democracy without freedom and liberty is not democracy. Thus, Afghanistan and Iraq's so-called democracies are not really democracies per se, as thanks to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, a non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadist and one of many that have successfully infiltrated our PC multicultural obsessed federal government, Sharia was made the final arbiter on all matters of law in each country's respective constitutions. Thus, Afghanistan and Iraq are really Sharia states, and as a result today we are in effect lifting up, propping up, and building up what are in reality our eternal enemies, and folks it just doesn't get anymore fantasy based and counterproductive than that.

    Nevertheless, pursuing fantasy based nation-building missions to win the hearts and minds of Muslims and to establish democracy in the Islamic world as RINO establishment Republicans and their propaganda arm, Fox News Network, both advocate is absolutely impossible and a fool's game.

    Indeed, first of all, Muslims are obligated per the texts and tenets of Islam to maintain nothing but enmity in their hearts for non-Muslim unbelievers no matter what. Thus, winning hearts and minds of Muslims is absolutely impossible. Second, the freedoms and liberties that secular and liberal Western-style democracy embodies leaves the door wide open for its inevitable demise. Indeed, as Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan puts it, “Democracy is like a train. We shall get out when we arrive at the station we want.”

    • tarleton

      obama wrote
      Indeed, what faith-based religions punish blasphemy and apostasy via capital punishment? The answer, of course, is none of them do. Proving irrefutably at the same time that Islam is not a faith-based religion as it pretends to be
      ——————————————————————–
      haha …It was only 3 centuries ago when blasphemy was a capital offense in many christian countries …christian nutcases launched gruesome wars against heretics …the french wars of religion and the st bartholomues day massacre are a fine example ….religion is a powerful and potent brew and the folks who overdose or get drunk on it are a MENACE …..GOD WILLS IT !

      • SpiritOf1683

        Three centuries ago in Christian countries compared with today and probably 300 years into the future in Islamic flytips like Saudi Arabia. And as you hate Christianity so much, why aren't you living in Pakistan or Iran?

        • tarleton

          criticising a comment by a deluded ''true believer '' doesn't mean that I hate xianity …i just hate propaganda , lies and gross hypocracy …there is no denial quite like religious denial …I can well understand how these types of ''true believers'' could create an Inquisition and burn heretics WELL UNDERSTAND

      • ObamaYoMoma

        haha …It was only 3 centuries ago when blasphemy was a capital offense in many christian countries …christian nutcases launched gruesome wars against heretics …the french wars of religion and the st bartholomues day massacre are a fine example ….religion is a powerful and potent brew and the folks who overdose or get drunk on it are a MENACE …..GOD WILLS IT !

        With all due disrespect, I realize you are a Euroloon and thus as a result have been subjected to a version of history that went out of its way to intentionally incite hatred way out of proportion relative to reality against Christianity. In fact, I was exposed to that same exact version of history while in college. However, I have since been expose to other versions of history that irrefutably prove that secular leftwing Euroloon historians went way out of their way to deliberately vilify and demonize Christianity way out of proportion.

        Nevertheless, when you use however you perceive Christianity to be 300 years ago to create a silly and asinine moral equivalence with Islam today 300 years later in order to go out of your way to demonize Christianity way out of proportion, it demonstrates that you are not only an obsessed bigot who hates Christianity way out of proportion to reality thanks to your indoctrination, but also that you are more than just a little unhinged as well. It also further reveals that your mind has been severely damage via the ravages of moral relativism.

        In any event, secular leftism is a dying ideology as its adherents simply are incapable of reproducing at replacement levels, while the Christians that you obsessively hate, nevertheless, are still reproducing at more than replacement levels. Thus, say what you will about Christianity, but secular leftism is simply suicidal.

  • Robert Pinkerton

    I think that one of the repercussions of Norway having declared Anders Breivik NGRI (Not Guilty [by] Reason [of] Insanity, will be unwanted psychiatric attention to people who think that Muslim immigration constitutes a "problem." Of course, this is commonly used as an excuse for avoiding and/or shutting down debate — i.e.: Repressing free speech. Daniil Lunts is alive and well and living in Norway!

  • Ben

    the century ago biggest part of Europeans knew nothing about democracy,just the word.
    Revolutions meant just a national liberation. This new game- "democracy" is played by cunning third world leaders for getting help. Useful western idiots and not idiots often play the role too. To offer democracy to medieval thinking people or to subjects of past feodal empire can people living between yeasterday and tomorrow.

  • FriendofGaryCooper

    Winston Churchill, in his 1899 book, "The River War," describes Islam as
    the "strongest retrograde force in the world," and also states, to the effect, that
    "many are the curses" that Islam lays on the heads of Muslims. He also refers to
    a "fatal apathy," that afflicts Muslims in every sphere of life. This is because there is little personal accountability in Islam, and absolutely no room for individual initiative. This is also true where the left is concerned. However, we in the West are not obliged to suffer the barbaric customs of those who want to kill us. Stonings, beheadings,
    child marriages, honor killings, taqquiya, jizya, and dhimmitude. I, for one, want none of it. Happy birthday, Sir Winston.

    • SpiritOf1683

      Stonings, beheadings, child marriages, honor killings, taqquiya, jizya, and dhimmitude. I, for one, want none of it. Happy birthday, Sir Winston.

      And that sums up what Tarleton wants to see happening here in the West.

      • tarleton

        you sound like another hysterical woman or a mixed up teenager ….growing up isn't easy , but you've got to at least try

        • SpiritOf1683

          And becoming like you turns growing up into a sin. Back to Pakistan you go, scrounger.

  • http://oldschooltwentysix.blogspot.com/ oldschooltwentysix

    Excellent article that clearly sets forth the argument that many Leftists are unable to see, even when other Leftists try to tell them.

  • Reason_For_Life

    "But all these Western-imported ideologies and explanations do not find traction with most Muslims, who see their problems as resulting from a crisis in Islam that has allowed peoples who once trembled at Allah’s armies to dominate the world."

    That nails it better than any thing else that I've read on Frontpagemag.

    Democracy is an unmitigated evil when government is not limited in its power by individual rights.

    Excellent column.

  • Lightning Jack

    I find it rather hypocritical on Islam's part for its practitioners to demand exclusivity for their cultural and religious practices in any host nation which they occupy even a minority status, but then persecute, murder or discriminate against any non-Muslims living in one of their pro majority states.

    The fact of the matter is that a mutual or peaceful coexistence is not possible with fundamentalist Islam.

  • tanstaafl

    Islam: threat or menace?