If you were to take the average Muslim and ask that person, “What are the laws you should follow as an individual and as a state?” that person probably would answer: “The laws of the Qur’an and the ways of Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him” (also known as the Sunnah, in Arabic).
This having been said, there is not one Muslim country on this earth that actually follows all these laws as they were outlined in the sacred Islamic texts and further, most Muslims would say that they personally make mistakes regarding these laws. Because of this fact, women are ignored and/or abused – as just one example out of many related to the failures in Muslim societies. If, instead, the Qur’an and the Sunnah were followed in Islamic societies, individuals would have profound rights:Women in Islam Versus Women in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition: The Myth & The Reality . It is true that in Islam, and therefore in Muslim countries, there is no line between “mosque and state” – rather the two are inexorably intertwined in the soul of the Muslim. The problem for the Muslim countries has not been a lack of democracy – rather it has been the failure of the Muslim countries to follow their own Islamic laws. Corrupt, self-seeking leaders have taken power – and the Muslims have allowed this to happen.
This aside, I fail to see why Western society cannot accept other countries following their own ways if they choose something besides democracy. While democracy has it’s good points, certainly, those good points are rarely followed in actuality. One only has to look at the erosion of a multitude of personal freedoms in America to see that. Nonetheless, it seems that the American government wants simply to have countries turning into little clones of itself – albeit clones without military power of any significant sort. I sincerely doubt that Washington is going to be very supportive if the Iraqi people rise up together and announce that they want a strict Islamic government – even though as a “democratic” government America should support the right of people to determine their own path. It’s a case of “you can be anything you want, as long as we approve.”
I found this article arrogant and misinformed to say the least. Blanket statements such as, “Thus, the people of the Muslim world overwhelmingly want democracy, but democracy may not be sustainable in their societies…” left me almost laughing in wonder. Did the author take a poll of all Muslims? Of all Muslim countries? Exactly which references or sources did this author use?
In the article The True Clash of Civilizations Turkey is held up as a shining example of a secularized Muslim country that has something like a democracy. But did the author look at the toll it has taken in Turkish society? A fascinating article about the result of democracy in Muslim countries like Turkey is FREEDOM IS MY DAUGHTERS NAME.
My question is this: why should Western cultures be so self important as to assume that they have the right to tell other countries how to govern themselves or how individuals within those countries should live their lives?
Cross posted at A Portrait of the Artist as a Muslim Woman