Friday, April 11, 2003

The True Clash of Civilizations

This is an interesting viewpoint on why democracy has taken a poor hold on Muslim countries, but I don't think this explanation is completely "true". Culturally based intolerance may play a role, but democracy in the United States did not establish because of this reason. It was only until the 20th century that women were allowed to vote and people became more liberal on views about race and sexual orientation.

But is infusing Western culture really the answer? I don't believe that any culture is inherently better than any other. I think (and I may be wrong--sociology and political experts please correct me) that the problem may lie in the basic concept of a separation between church and state. In the west, there is this understanding that religion should not meddle with politics although lately one wonders if the blurry line between the two even exists anymore. In the Middle East, there was never a line to begin with.

And if one side is firmly entrenched in the other, exactly how easy is it to uproot that side and strip it of its powers? People don't like giving up power.

(Also posted at Syaffolee.)

1 comment:

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