Leaving Islam




The Palestinians Have Spoken

by Ali Sina 


Over four years ago, the world was flabbergasted to watch ululating Palestinians rejoice and cheer for the death of thousands of Americans in 9/11. Despite that the Americans did not hold grudges against them and kept pouring into their economy one billion dollars a year. The Palestinians rely on two external sources of income: Israeli-collected taxes on Palestinian goods and aid that comes primarily from USA and Europe . They depend on these handouts, without which they won't be able to survive.  

The election results of last week show that the anti American and pro terrorist sentiment among the Palestinians is prevalent. The victory of Hamas, a terrorist organization responsible for suicide bombings in Israel and anti Americanism was not a fluke. 77% of the population voted enthusiastically in a very clean and fair election. Hamas won 76 seats compared to Fatah’s 43. Palestinians overwhelmingly chose the members of this terrorist organization as their leaders. 

This election, more than anything else, tells us who the Palestinians are and where they stand in regards to terrorism.

Bush presses for democracy in Islamic countries as if democracy is panacea. Democracy is however a double edge sword. Democracy without responsibility can lead to tyranny. There is nothing more dangerous than putting the power in the hands of a people who are not responsible. 

Are other Islamic countries ready for democracy? If complete free elections are held today, and people are allowed to choose their own candidates, Osama Bin Laden would probably be elected as the president in several Islamic countries. As for Iraq , although the removal of Saddam was a gain for the world, the future of the Iraqis is less certain.  

Not all people know what is good for them. Before empowering them, they must be educated. Rights come with responsibility. Those who are not responsible can't handle their rights and should not have them. This would be like putting a weapon in the hands of a child. He can hurt others and himself too. It is irresponsible to give rights to those who are not responsible.

Among all the Islamic countries, perhaps Iran is the only one that is ready for democracy. And that is because the Iranians have learned their lesson the hard way. Even there, it won’t be easy, as they hardly know what democracy means. Twenty seven years ago, the Iranians seized the power with great jubilee and handed it to the Islamists. Soon their jubilee turned into grief and they have shed a thousand tears of regret, ever since. They have not stopped cursing themselves for acting irresponsibly. Today, given the chance, they may act differently. But alas they do not have that luxury anymore.      

The solution to the problems in Islamic counties is democracy. But before you hand people that awesome power, you must prepare them for it.  

Aristotle understood the danger of democracy when people are not yet ready for self rule. The peripatetic philosopher was not against democracy. He suggested a sound balance between two extremes – one that romanticizes the rule of people and the other that advocates the governance of the elite that underrate them.


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