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    Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Is it reasonable to assume that democracy can exist in a country whose population largely is fundamentalist? Democracy is, after all, debating ideas against one another. In Islamic states, there are no debates because the Koran is the final word on all laws. The Koran is consulted in all matters of judgement, and being that the Koran is divine and without equal, no other laws or interpretations are necessary.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Although the Islamic countries with oil keep increasing their wealth, the standard of living for their citizens has been largely stagnant. Although the region is flushed with cash from oil profits, the region is not a hot bed of innovation. I would think that a region as densely populated as the Middle East, and that is so flush with oil profits would be developing new technologies, but this is not the case. Why isn't the region more vibrant? Is adhererence to a fundamentist Islamic lifestyle to blame?



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    Why isn't the region more vibrant? Is adhererence to a fundamentist Islamic lifestyle to blame?
    Yes, and the conflict it breeds within Islam itself (ie Shia vs. Sunni).


    While on live TV, Ford used a vulgar term to describe a private part of the female anatomy, adding that he was “happily married” and “got more than enough to eat at home.”

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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
    Yes, and the conflict it breeds within Islam itself (ie Shia vs. Sunni).
    I agree with The Architect. The daily slaughter of Iraqis by Iraqis of opposing Islamic sects is all the evidence America should need to be persuaded of the inadvisability of Iraqi democracy. Each major Iraqi sect seems to have as its primary goal the obliteration of the other Iraqi sects; these sentiments should not be given democratic legitimacy.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    Is it reasonable to assume that democracy can exist in a country whose population largely is fundamentalist? Democracy is, after all, debating ideas against one another. In Islamic states, there are no debates because the Koran is the final word on all laws. The Koran is consulted in all matters of judgement, and being that the Koran is divine and without equal, no other laws or interpretations are necessary.
    It is certainly problematic. In addition to the usual inconsistencies between religious fundamentalism and democracy, Shia Islam also has the additional issue of authority being derived by direct lineage from the profit. Hence, someone like Muqtada al-Sadr has automatic, inherited authority, just because he is Sayyid.

    This is also the reason we supported Saddam so long despite him being a brutal dictator. The argument was that at least he was a secular dictator, and could hence be dealt with better than a fundamentalist dictator.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    So what's the viability of democracy in Ireland then?



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    So what's the viability of democracy in Ireland then?
    The Irish are definitely not fundamentalists. The US is much more fundamentalist than Ireland.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    So what's the viability of democracy in Ireland then?
    At least Ireland has been exposed to democracy. Christianity and Catholicism don't seem to openly express hatred to the democratic form of government like fundamentalist Islam does.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    Christianity and Catholicism
    1) Christianity and Catholicism? Are you suggesting that Catholics aren't christian?

    2) I think you can find more than a few examples of where religious leaders or fundamentalists in the Christian faith (or any faith for that matter) have an open contempt for the democratic process.

    Well, they like it just fine, until it does something they don't like or isn't explicitly in the "good book"

    To answer your question - yes democracy can take root just fine in Iraq Will it be easy or quick? Probably not. People would like to forget that the Christian faith throughout it's history has been one of the most violent and intollerant faiths there has been. Crusades, Inquisitions and so on. Democracy has established itself quite well in most such states.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    1) Christianity and Catholicism? Are you suggesting that Catholics aren't christian?

    2) I think you can find more than a few examples of where religious leaders or fundamentalists in the Christian faith (or any faith for that matter) have an open contempt for the democratic process.

    Well, they like it just fine, until it does something they don't like or isn't explicitly in the "good book"

    To answer your question - yes democracy can take root just fine in Iraq Will it be easy or quick? Probably not. People would like to forget that the Christian faith throughout it's history has been one of the most violent and intollerant faiths there has been. Crusades, Inquisitions and so on. Democracy has established itself quite well in most such states.
    Yes, but democracy only started taking hold in Christian countries after fundamentalism became unpopular (at least among the upper classes). The western world went through the Renaissance, the Age of Reason, and the Enlightenment before it was ready for democracies.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Turkey is around 94-98% Muslim, and their government is a republican parliamentary democracy. From what I can gather, about 80% Sunni, 15% Shia. So it's not impossible. I guess whose definition of fundamentalist that we use is important. I'm not sure that they are any more fundamentalist than Turkey, which has a secular government. Fundamentalists are certainly flocking to Iraq to destabilize things. I would rank the problems in this order:

    #1. Iranian support and intervention in Iraq
    #2. Al Qaeda
    #3. Religious strife between Sunni and Shia

    #1 and #2 are trying to foment and encourage #3. Remove the first two, or minimize them, and #3 becomes quite a bit more manageable.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    1) Christianity and Catholicism? Are you suggesting that Catholics aren't christian?

    2) I think you can find more than a few examples of where religious leaders or fundamentalists in the Christian faith (or any faith for that matter) have an open contempt for the democratic process.

    Well, they like it just fine, until it does something they don't like or isn't explicitly in the "good book"

    To answer your question - yes democracy can take root just fine in Iraq Will it be easy or quick? Probably not. People would like to forget that the Christian faith throughout it's history has been one of the most violent and intollerant faiths there has been. Crusades, Inquisitions and so on. Democracy has established itself quite well in most such states.
    I used the wrong terminology. My intent was to compare Protestants and Catholics. It was not to suggest that Catholics are not Christian.

    I recall from world history that there was general demographic and cultural decline when the Pope represented the rule of the land. The Catholic Church appeared to stifle innovation in a similar way as to Fundamentalist Islam. It is my opinion that separating the church from the state ends up giving more freedom to the population.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Turkey is around 94-98% Muslim, and their government is a republican parliamentary democracy. From what I can gather, about 80% Sunni, 15% Shia. So it's not impossible. I guess whose definition of fundamentalist that we use is important. I'm not sure that they are any more fundamentalist than Turkey, which has a secular government. Fundamentalists are certainly flocking to Iraq to destabilize things. I would rank the problems in this order:

    #1. Iranian support and intervention in Iraq
    #2. Al Qaeda
    #3. Religious strife between Sunni and Shia

    #1 and #2 are trying to foment and encourage #3. Remove the first two, or minimize them, and #3 becomes quite a bit more manageable.
    The growing Sunni-Shiite divide is roiling an Arab world
    Link: Across Arab World, a Widening Rift - washingtonpost.com



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Turkey is around 94-98% Muslim, and their government is a republican parliamentary democracy. From what I can gather, about 80% Sunni, 15% Shia. So it's not impossible. I guess whose definition of fundamentalist that we use is important. I'm not sure that they are any more fundamentalist than Turkey, which has a secular government. Fundamentalists are certainly flocking to Iraq to destabilize things. I would rank the problems in this order:

    #1. Iranian support and intervention in Iraq
    #2. Al Qaeda
    #3. Religious strife between Sunni and Shia

    #1 and #2 are trying to foment and encourage #3. Remove the first two, or minimize them, and #3 becomes quite a bit more manageable.
    The reports on #2 are very divided. I tend to lean towards Al Qaeda not being much of a factor in Iraq. (They never took hold there before the war, I don't think Iraqis really buy into their propaganda now, either.) I would also add another issue, which relates to #1, namely the very, very, very old conflict between the Persians and the Arabs. Both the Saudis and the Iranians would like to control the destiny of Iraq, and I think it has more to do with Arabs vs. Persians than Sunni vs. Shia.

    There is nothing about Islam that makes it inherently impossible to have democracy. But there are just many other cultural factors that need to be in place for democracy to take hold. Then even with those factors in place, it takes time, and most importantly, it must originate from the people. My opinion is that no matter how noble the intentions, and now matter how courageously and compassionately the soldiers act, a foreign occupation force is inherently counterproductive to democracy.



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    Re: Iraq and Fundamentalist Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by iceclone View Post
    The reports on #2 are very divided. I tend to lean towards Al Qaeda not being much of a factor in Iraq. (They never took hold there before the war, I don't think Iraqis really buy into their propaganda now, either.) I would also add another issue, which relates to #1, namely the very, very, very old conflict between the Persians and the Arabs. Both the Saudis and the Iranians would like to control the destiny of Iraq, and I think it has more to do with Arabs vs. Persians than Sunni vs. Shia.

    There is nothing about Islam that makes it inherently impossible to have democracy. But there are just many other cultural factors that need to be in place for democracy to take hold. Then even with those factors in place, it takes time, and most importantly, it must originate from the people. My opinion is that no matter how noble the intentions, and now matter how courageously and compassionately the soldiers act, a foreign occupation force is inherently counterproductive to democracy.
    I agree with that too. I heard something the other day that I have yet to verify, or to get further details. Someone on the radio was talking about the way in which the Iraqi government was elected. It does not sound like it was a typical regional representative election, but very convoluted. Anyone know more about that?



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