Sunday, April 15, 2007

Middle Eastern Democracy? Probably Not

Yah, well, I knew this would come out eventually:

Larry Diamond, co-editor of the Journal of Democracy, and Leonardo Morlino, a specialist in comparative politics at the University of Florence, ascribe seven features to any democracy: individual freedoms and civil liberties; rule of the law; sovereignty resting upon the people; equality of all citizens before the law; vertical and horizontal accountability for government officials; transparency of the ruling systems to the demands of the citizens; and equality of opportunity for citizens. This approach is important, since it emphasizes civil liberties, human rights and freedoms, instead of over-reliance on elections and the formal institutions of the state.

Random10 phrases it more succinctly, and provides the link to the original discussion.

...democracy requires the voting process to loan the sovereignty of the people to those individuals responsible to shape and administer the laws.

Ain'a gonna happen in Mullah-land:

Mawdudi argues that any Islamic polity has to accept the supremacy of Islamic law over all aspects of political and religious life -- hardly a democratic concept, given that Islamic law does not provide for equality of all citizens under the law regardless of religion and gender. Such a formulation also denies citizens a basic right to decide their laws, a fundamental concept of democracy. Although he uses the phrase theo-democracy to suggest that Islam encompassed some democratic principles, Mawdudi himself asserted Islamic democracy to be a self-contradiction: the sovereignty of God and sovereignty of the people are mutually exclusive. An Islamic democracy would be the antithesis of secular Western democracy.

Not exactly a shock to anyone who's acquainted with culture (the word is, after all, derived from cult).

That's why B-16 is arguing the case on human (natural) rights. Even that will require a fair amount of theo-jiggling by the Mullahs--but it's more a possibility than changing the foundation of the structure, which is theocratic.

Sadly, the Beltway Boyzzz (all of them) fail to understand the importance of culture (cult) in the Middle East. ALL of the Middle East, including our friend, Israel.

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