Saturday, February 5, 2011
An Islamic Democracy
There has been much talk about Egypt becoming a democracy, but we have certain false assumptions about what an Egyptian democracy might look like. While it is true that 59% of Egyptians want a “democracy,” A Pew Survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, released Dec. 10, 2010, might help us understand the form that it might take:
• 95% of Egyptians regard it as “good” that Islam plays a “large role” in politics.
• 49% have a “favorable” view of the terrorist organization Hamas.
• “At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt (85%), Nigeria (82%) and Jordan (76%) consider Islamic influence over political life to be a positive thing for their country.”
• “At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion.”
• “Among Muslims who see a struggle between modernizers and Islamic fundamentalists, majorities in Lebanon (84%), Turkey (74%), Pakistan (61%) and Indonesia (54%) side with those who want to modernize their countries; a plurality of Jordanian Muslims who say there is a struggle in their country also side with the modernizers (48%). In Egypt and Nigeria, however, most Muslims who see a struggle in their countries say they identify with Islamic fundamentalists (59% and 58%, respectively).”
• “A narrower majority (54%) of Muslims in Egypt also support making gender segregation the law in their country.”
• “About eight-in-ten Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan (82% each) endorse the stoning of people who commit adultery.”
• “Muslims in Pakistan and Egypt are also the most supportive of whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery; 82% in Pakistan and 77% in Egypt favor making this type of punishment the law in their countries.”
• “When asked about the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion, at least three-quarters of Muslims in Jordan (86%), Egypt (84%) and Pakistan (76%) say they would favor making it the law.”
Although this survey didn’t address this issue, any criticism of Islam or Mohammed also carries a death penalty. Freedom of religion and of speech have little part in an Islamic “democracy,” where non-Muslims are relegated to second-class “citizens.” Where then would democracy play a role? Perhaps in voting for the candidate, but they better be Muslims!
Hosni Mubarack might be a dictator, but is he any more dictatorial than an Islamic "democracy" would be?
ADDENDUM ON ISLAMIC DEMOCRACY: In the Jan. 2011 “Freedom Report,” Christian Freedom International reports,
• Bangladesh is one of the last remaining democracies in the Muslim world. Ironically, it is also a nation that is experiencing a growing hostility towards Christianity, like many other Muslim dominated countries. The rise of Islamic extremism within its society has contributed to the mistreatment and abuse of Christians that has sadly become all too commonplace. Although sharia law is not the official law of the land, it is still used as a tool of persecution against Christians, who make up less than one percent of the country’s population. Christian females are especially at risk in Bangladesh, as incidents of rape, kidnapping and forced marriages to Muslim men are frequently reported from the Christian community.