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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Andrew McCarthy on Grasping the Obvious

Free democratic systems, moreover, are based on notions of liberty, private property, and equality. In stark contrast, many Islamic traditions reject freedom of conscience, freedom to make law that countermands sharia, economic freedom, equality for Muslims and non-Muslims, and equality for men and women, to name just a few key divergences. But even if none of this were so, mightn't Occam's razor have reared its head by now? After fourteen centuries, there is no secular democratic tradition in Islamic society. Given that secular democracy is the best guarantor of liberty and prosperity, is it not self-evident that some precinct of the umma would have adopted it by now, without any help from us, if Islamic society were innately receptive?
This hints at my number one complaint about how we are conducting our "war on terror": we persist in this deranged idea that we can successfully convert nations into Western-style representative republics, when they have no historical interest in any such thing, when, in fact, their dominant belief-system strongly militates against such a conversion. It is a fool's errand.

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