Monday, December 18, 2006

Can Islam coexist with democracy?

Simply do a Google search with the words "islam democracy".
You will find numerous websites, quite a number of which are written by Muslims.

It would appear that Democracy and Islam are incompatible.

There are obvious implications therefore for Iraq. It was very irresponsible of Bush and Blair to have meddled with an Islamic country, without first having a good grasp of Islam itself. At least Bush is now listening to some wise counsel. However, it is not clear that Blair understands the question yet, let alone has progressed towards a solution.

A valid point has been raised by General Sir Richard Dannatt:

"The original intention was that we put in place a liberal democracy that was an exemplar for the region, was pro-West and might have a beneficial effect on the balance within the Middle East. That was the hope. Whether that was a sensible or naïve hope, history will judge. I don't think we are going to do that. I think we should aim for a lower ambition."

Whether Islam can ever be compatible with Democracy in the future is an interesting question. It would require Islam itself to change, which seems unlikely. However, any changes must be made from within, and cannot be made from outside Islam.

It may be that the Pope can have some influence to encourage the debate within Islam. Let us hope so.

Humanity needs peace not Islam.


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