Skip to comments.Are Islam and democracy compatible?
Posted on 05/05/2005 4:58:01 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
ISLAM AND THE CHALLENGE OF DEMOCRACY
In a just world, Khaled Abou El Fadl would get as much publicity as Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Bin Laden and Zarqawi blow up buildings and slaughter fellow Muslims. Abou El Fadl blows up everything those two terrorists supposedly believe in.
A UCLA law professor trained in Islam's jurisprudential traditions, Abou El Fadl specializes in exploring Islam's humane and democratic elements. A few years ago, in the brisk "The Place of Tolerance in Islam," he explained why "Islamic" and "tolerant" aren't contradictory, despite terrorists who suggest that Islam stands for nothing but hatred and violence.
Now, with demands for democracy resonating in the Mideast -- among Iraqi voters, Lebanese demonstrators, even the right and left lobes of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak -- observers might turn to Abou El Fadl's "Islam and the Challenge of Democracy" for a crash course on the basics.
The book's key message? Democracy isn't a great challenge for Islam -- at least doctrinally.
According to Abou El Fadl, "classical Muslim scholars embraced core elements of modern democratic practice." Although "the Quran itself does not specify a particular form of government," it does, he argues, pinpoint values central to any Muslim state: "pursuing justice through social cooperation and mutual assistance...; establishing a nonautocratic, consultative method of government; and institutionalizing mercy and compassion in social interactions...."
"Institutionalizing mercy and compassion"? No, such values don't seem to be within a light-year of exploding car bombs that wipe out hundreds of fellow Muslims.
Reading Abou El Fadl should anger every Muslim and non-Muslim. He demonstrates not just the brutality but the idiocy of so-called Islamic fascism -- "so-called" because it's really 99 percent fascist, and Islamic only in its rhetorical propaganda. As the author sets out Islam's authentic theses, the gap between them and their perversions grows ever clearer.
He writes, for instance: "A fundamental Quranic idea is that God vested all of humanity with a kind of divinity by making every person the viceroy of God on this earth."
Al-Qaida agitprop insists that because many Iraqis killed by car bombs supported or sought jobs with the government, it's OK to target them. Just one problem -- Islam doesn't accept that callous thinking. Those would-be cops are also Allah's vice-regents on Earth.
And what of the quality of "mercy" -- certainly not a notion widely associated with Islam these days?
Listen at length to an Islamic scholar who, unlike Osama, did not spend his youth in Western nightclubs, or making big money in construction.
In the Quran, Abou El Fadl writes, "God describes God's self as inherently just, and the Quran asserts that God has decreed mercy upon God's self.... Furthermore, the very purpose of entrusting the divine message to the Prophet Muhammad was a gift of mercy to human beings.
"In the Quranic discourse, mercy is not simply forgiveness; nor is it the willingness to ignore the faults and sins of people. Rather, it is a state in which the individual is able to be just with him or herself and others by giving each individual person his or her due. Fundamentally, mercy is tied to a state of genuine perception of others -- which is why in the Quran mercy is coupled with the need for human beings to be patient with and tolerant of each other. Most significantly, diversity and differences among human beings are claimed in the Quranic discourse to be merciful divine gifts to humankind."
On almost every point, al-Qaida "policy" blasphemes against Islam. Where Islam calls for mercy, al-Qaida shows none, beheading truck drivers, anti-American journalists, anyone who falls into its clutches.
Then whatever we are doing there is waste of money and time?
So why are we there in the middle east trying to democratize them?
Because that will destroy the power of the Islamists. The Islamists know this. That is why they don't like the idea of a democratic Arab country.
How many churches in Saudi Arabia?
Only the underground church.
Sure...just not the militant, terrorist, 'run-of-the-mill' Islam that is so popular today. Gotta change some hearts (or, failing that, blow a "few" of them to bits).
Unless you are an infidel.
The problem is that islam is so illogical that so much wrong can be done in it's name. When he starts talking about us all being viceroys of allah, that alone does it.
None. Why do you ask?
So, hold on here. What's that Islamic rule about being able to "snow" the opponent if it brings you close enough to knife him in the heart?
I have recall problems, but didn't I read about that somewhere on FR?
This sounds just like that, ya think?
Not until we kill off the wingnut faction. Those idiots are lost in the 1400s and can't get their minds straight.
Yeah, like in Sura 9:5, where it says "...kill them (non-moslems) wherever you find them."
Sure sounds like a whole lot of patience and tolerance to me. Yezzir!! (/sarc.)
Abou El Fadl must believe that noone but he has ever read the koran.
Have you ever been to Israel? Do your homework,please...
The author is writing this for the consumption of gullible infidels. Here is an antidote.
"Here is Part One of "Islam for Infidels," a new three-part series by Jihad Watch Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald:"
"..It has been quite an effort to prevent Infidels from getting the wrong (that is to say, the right) impression of Islam, at least until such time as Muslims in the West currently singing the praises of pluralism no longer have need for Infidel good will and tolerance. To date, the twin techniques of Taqiyya and Tu-Quoque have been relied on. Taqiyya is the religiously-sanctioned doctrine, with its origins in Shia Islam but now practiced by non-Shia as well, of deliberate dissimulation about religious matters that may be undertaken to protect Islam, and the Believers. A related term, of broader application, is kitman, which is defined as mental reservation. An example of Taqiyya would be the insistence of a Muslim apologist that of course there is freedom of conscience in Islam, and then quoting that Quranic verse -- There shall be no compulsion in religion. But the impression given will be false, for there has been no mention of the Muslim doctrine of abrogation, or naskh, whereby such an early verse as that about no compulsion in religion has been cancelled out by later, far more intolerant and malevolent verses. In any case, history shows that within Islam there is, and always has been, compulsion in religion for Muslims, and for non-Muslims. The compulsion for Muslims comes from the treatment of apostasy as an act punishable by death. And though dhimmis are allowed to practice their religion, they do so under conditions of such burdens and restrictions that many, not as an act of conscience but rather as a response to inexorable Muslim pressure, have converted (or reverted) to Islam..."
The real difficulty is that the sect that has come into the possession of the Hijaz is (1) radically fundamentalist, (2) militant about it, and (3) fantastically wealthy as a result of oil money and Islam's inherent requirement for its donation to the radicals in the form of charity, one of the Five Pillars. How we separate them from control of the greater body of Moslems is a bit difficult to imagine, at least at the moment.
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