By, Jim Croft
In November 2003, Abdullah Al Araby of Islamreview.com and I wrote an article questioning the wisdom of the USA attempting to establish democracy amongst Muslims in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions. This piece will revisit some of the points made and will introduce other factors. It will call attention to the prevalence of Muslim violence on non-Muslims and fellow Muslims.
In 2003, President Bush made several speeches to give basis for the invasion of Iraq. In one of the speeches he made a statement that revealed that he and his foreign-affairs advisors did not grasp the significant differences between the cultures and worldviews of those living in Islamic-controlled nations and those living in free democracies of the West. “It should be clear to all that Islam – the faith of one-fifth of humanity – is consistent with democratic rule.”
The response from Iran’s The Islamic Republic News Agency reflects the sentiments of many nations with heavy Islamic populations. “No individual, or group, has ever commissioned Mr. Bush to safeguard their rights.”
Contrary to Bush’s assertion, there is nothing consistent with democratic rule in the historical principles exemplified in the sayings and actions of Mohammed and that which is written in his Koran.
The politically correct posture asserts a number of inaccurate depictions of the realities in nations where Islam is activated in attempting to maintain or gain the upper-hand. Islam does not endorse democracy. To the contrary, it demands religious state governments in which politicians and clerics work hand-in-hand. The end objective is to insure that every person residing in the country adheres to the dictates of Islam whether they are Muslims or not.
Without question, democracy is not the easiest form of government to establish. This is particularly true in Muslim situations where leaders do not have high tolerance for opposition. Most do not want to trouble themselves with the necessity of using the gentle powers of persuasion and voting ballots to get their policies approved by the citizens and elected officials.
For any who would question this, I give you Egypt, Syria and Iraq just for starters. Nothing we have tried to fix has remained fixed. There is an old adage: If you expend you time and resources trying to fix a fix that people don’t want fixed; you’ll wind up having to fix, fix after fix.
Our government has given billions in foreign aid to buy the cooperation of Islamic States and billions more rebuilding the infrastructure of Muslim nations damaged in the War on Terror. The thought was that the expenditures would reap loyalty. It did not.
Islamists have no loyalties to infidels and to the USA, the great Satan. Even their loyalties to fellow Muslims are short-lived in the face of doctrinal differences.
Arab Proverb Confirms Biblical Prophecy
There are two ancient sayings that partially explain why democracy is difficult to establish where Islam has strong influence. The first is a prophetic utterance from the book of Genesis pertaining to the descendants of Ishmael who would become known as Arabs: The Angel of the Lord told Hagar of her son, Ishmael, “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers”. (Gen. 16:12)
This falls into line with the second, an ancient Arab proverb: “I against my brothers; I and my brothers against my cousins; I and my cousins against the world”. No one who keeps up with world affairs and human right infractions would question the accuracy of the 2 statements.
It is my conviction that the sayings are activated by the negative spiritual dynamics of Islam rather than a genetic curiosity resident in all Arabs. The Christian Arabs of the world demonstrate no evidence of the prophecy’s and the proverb’s imprints on their lives. However, whenever Islam is embraced by any nationality, including Arabs, significant portions begin to demonstrate the predicted behaviors indicative of the ancient sayings.
Hostility toward Muslim brothers – Within nations that have significant Muslim populations, the major culprit causing the disruptions of national peace is not America or other outside influences. It is the factions within Islam. The doctrinal differences between Sunni, Wahabi, Shiite, Shia, and secular Muslims are volatile. These cause more bloodshed than any attempts to bring democracy ever have. The fact is that these inner-Islam conflicts routinely incite Muslims to butcher more Muslims annually than the total number of Muslim deaths inflicted by Coalition Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
In addition, Shariah Law defies the concepts of human rights, equal rights for women and the humane treatment of those charged with crimes. We have all seen the televised documentaries. Women are flogged and shot if it is alleged that they are guilty of adultery. They are beaten for not wearing head coverings (hijabs) and/or full-length burkas in public. The hands of thieves are publically amputated. Muslims who are charged with apostasy for converting to other religions are subject to governmental execution and some are often honor-killed by their own family members. Islamic authorities have cultivated a blind-eye-policy toward the practice of slavery and violations of internationally accepted child-labor laws. The lists goes on and on in regard to Islam’s habitual human rights infractions.
Hostility toward non-Muslims – At this moment, the US Government State Department has 35 nations on the travel warning list advising US citizens against travel. Out of the 35 restricted countries, 23, 65% are States where Muslims are attempting to deepen their influence. The Islamist radicals, and in many instances the supposed moderate Muslims, are physically attacking resident Christians; the citizens from Western Democracies who labor in their nations; and foreign travelers. It is not out of character for Islamists to bomb hotels and to ransack the embassies of democratic countries.
There are two primary factors that contribute to these realities, the nature of religion of Islam and the cultural tribalism/sheikdoms that exist in every nation of the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.
The Islamic principles that demand that clerics and government officials work hand-in-hand, is complicated and intensified by the region’s history of authoritative sheikdoms. Even if Islam were not a factor, the cultural tribalism/sheikdoms would be.
Western politicians simply do not comprehend the measure of competition, mistrust, and age-long animosities that exists between the various tribes, warlords, and sheiks. If a member of one tribe/clan was democratically elected, it would be unlikely for the members of other tribes to trust him or to see any need to comply with his policies. When Islam is inserted into the mix, a western form of democracy has little chance of survival.
This is true because the people have religious and cultural philosophical predispositions for autocratic forms of government. Reminiscent of the sheiks and tribal warlords, ruthless men like Assad of Syria, Morsi of Egypt, the pirates of Somalia and the Ayatollahs of Iran are free to set up tyrannical regimes. Some have a tendency to establish ruling dynasties for successive generations of their families.
For universal appeal, they call their governments by all sorts of democratic sounding names. However, in Muslim controlled situations that boast parliamentary representation, populations are actually often controlled by the whims of the family heads.
In many cases the voting process is mired with falsifications to guarantee the results of an election even before it begins. They rule by fear and any who oppose them are apt to find themselves subjected to imprisonment, torture and death.
To Bring About Change
Priceless American blood and multiplied billions of $s have been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once we gave hint that US forces were pulling out, the age-old conflicts between Muslim sects and clans began to resurface. It is apparent that there is something in Muslim spiritual and political DNA that makes them resistant to accepting alternative forms of government.
At the risks of sounding calloused, Muslims have slaughtered one another from time immemorial. It might be best to permit them to do what they relish, unless America’s security is under proven threat. In that event, we can go in and do what we must do with thoroughness and then leave without any sense of obligation to rebuild infrastructures destroyed by self-induced conflict.
The indications are that it will likely take years before the general populations of those nations will have a philosophical base to desire democracy. The entire Islamic world needs generations of education, higher literacy rates, and opportunities to objectively compare the progress of Western nations to the lack of the same in Islamic States. Muslims must awaken to the realization that massive modifications are a must, if they want constructive roles in the 21rst Century.
It is my conviction that we should use every peaceful pressure to persuade them to grant their citizens freedom of religion. If Christianity is given the opportunity to function, it can imprint substantial segments of the populations with an innate understanding of freedom. Unlike Islam, it rejects violence as anything other than a last resort. Cultivating the mind of Christ fosters understanding of the freedom that yearns for democracy.