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Sarah Z said…

“Just a little thought – One of the core beliefs of Islam is the unity of church and state. Makes American Democracy not really workable for the Muslim people”.

But don’t many argue that Iraq under Saddam was a secular government, as is Syria purported to be? Yet they are / were run by loyal Muslims. And isn’t that why Osama supposedly did not collaborated with Saddam?

Church and State unity has extreme variations. There are many democracies where Church and State coexists successfully. Israel is one, England is another. After the Constitution was signed, several of the U States had official state religions. One of those was Thomas Jeffersons home state, Virginia. As far as I know, the first acknowledged democracy, the Greek prototype, had no such separation. The kind of situation I’Â’m deriding is where the State functions at the privilege and whim of the church or religious sect, such as that under Taliban rule.

My Rare Form drummer, Dan, made a similar argument that trying to install a democracy in Iraq was futile, but his argument was based on a book that came out a couple of years ago that suggested that Muslims, due to their culture, learn from birth to deal with the world with two faces, by saying one thing but doing another, and therefore cannot be trusted. It is second nature to them. One example was Arafat. During the 90s, he would talk of truce to the western leaders and news forums, but when back in Palestine, he would still preach ““Death to Israel” to his comrades and countrymen. A current example could be the Saudis. They look like they are getting tougher on terrorism, but most experts conclude that there is still some family (and oil) money funding the Wahhabi terrorist groups, and that many connected to the royal family are providing safe haven for terrorists. So does this mean that all Muslims and two-face and can’t be trusted? I think not! But that book used that very Buchannonish argument to deride our involvement in the Middle East. And what if, instead of Muslims, I implied the same logic to Jews or Africans. I would be called a racist or bigot.

The statement “Makes American Democracy not really workable for the Muslim people” seems presumptuous to me. Before the American Revolution, most Englishmen could not fathom a workable government without a sovereign. Yet here we are without a sovereign. And if democracy doesn’t work for Muslims, then why do so many immigrate to western, democratic countries such as Britton, France, and the US? Why did 8 million plus in Iraq risk their lives to go to the polls to vote this year? Assuming the Iraqi effort succeeds, their democracy certainly will not look exactly like ours; but where does it say that it has to in order to succeed?

PS. I love you Sarah (don’t tell your hubby).

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