3 thoughts on “Islam and Democracy

  1. A bit ironic that you link to an op/ed by Dilip Hiro that lauds Qatar’s democracy when you also note the banning of your site by that same country. Anyhoo, I don’t know what democracy will look like in Iraq, but I’m baffled Hiro’s optimistic opinion that 1) the country has a chance of remaining unified, and 2) it won’t follow a theocratic model. I want to make it clear that I don’t think Iraq needs to follow a secular, liberal democratic model (which happens to be my preference which is why I live here and not in Saudi Arabia).

  2. I wanted to work on Hiro’s piece a bit, but I knew I wouldn’t get to it immediately, and I thought it was more useful just to get it out there. I liked it because I thought I thought it talked about the various ways Islam fits into government models.
    I’m not sure Iraq will stay together without some help. However, I think the administration has enough sense to realize that if Iraq falls apart soon, it will count as a failure. I’m fairly confident that “vilayat-e faqih” will not take hold in Iraq b/c Sistani has come out against it, and was opposed to Khomeini on this point. That, of course, does not preclude a theocracy.
    Is free speech a sign of democracy? (Qatar) Remember that recently several ABC affiliates refused to air “Saving Private Ryan” for fear of a government backlash, after two years of showing it. Does that mean we are not a democracy? (Rhetorical interest. Your point is taken.)

  3. Yes, that was pretty lame self-censorship on the part of stations that balked at showing the movie. I agree that free speech is not a sign of democracy, but is a sign of a liberal democracy (as distinguished in Fareed Zakaria’s excellent read, the Future of Freedom). Hiro thinks that Qatar is both.

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