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The masses are not always right. It is cruel to let people self Ėrule when they are not ready for it and have no understanding of democracy. They can end up hurting themselves and others. The tyrannical regimes of the Nazis, the Bolsheviks and the Iranian Islamists were all born out of popular votes. Yet no one would call them democratic. 

Self-rule under law is better than all compelling forms of governments. However, democracy cannot be imposed universally. It must arise out of cultural and historical traditions of the people or it will fall into tyranny.

Islamic ethos is theocratic. A theocratic democracy makes as much sense as a round square. To have true democracy in Islamic countries, candidates and parties running with religious platforms must be disqualified. But if you limit the peopleís choices to vote for their own candidates it wonít be democracy anymore.

In countries where people are Islamists, democracy cannot take root. Before we can promote democracy, the Islamic ethos must be replaced with the rule of law, respect for the rights of the minorities and the separation of religion from government. In other worlds these countries must be deislamized.

This is much easier said than done. Islam is political by its very nature. You canít have it in any other way. The whole raison d'Ítre of Islam is to take over the world, establish the Khilaft and rule it on behalf of Allah. Islam is not just a religion, but it is believed by Muslims to be the perfect way of life and governance. How can they keep their faith and distance themselves from it and its goal in their political life? This would be the cause of cognitive dissonance Ė the discomfort felt when facing a discrepancy between what one believes to be true and something that defies that belief. It is natural that one would want to reject any new idea to keep oneís faith. 

What kind of commitment to democracy and democratic values can we expect from Muslims when they get their values from Islam which is anti democratic par excellence? Will someone like Omaya Joha, the famous Islamist cartoonist of Palestinian press and one of the winners of the election who proclaims, "If polygamy is good for Islam, it is good for me," be able to respect the rights of the minorities? If her religious zealotry makes her disregard her own equal rights, will she be able to respect the equal rights of the minorities and disregard her religion?

Imposing democracy in Islamic countries is therefore not an easy task. It's like trying to swim against the current. Itís only a matter of time that people fall back to despotism and tyranny again. 

Bush may have all the good intentions in the world but he does not understand the idiosyncrasy of Muslims. His efforts of trying to impose democracy in Islamic countries are not going to work and in fact they will backfire causing more damage than good. You canít build too high without a foundation. The foundation for democracy in Islamic countries simply does not exist. The America 's fiasco in Somali should have been enough to make them see that democracy can't be imposed on people who do not want it. The democracies in Afghanistan and in Iraq will fall, as soon as America pulls its troops out of these countries. 

Yes, democracy is what the Islamic countries need most. But before democracy can take root, Islam must be weeded out.

 

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