US Democracy and Muslims
I believe that a poorly-running democracy is still better than the alternative. Of course, we should not be fooled into believing a certain system is a democracy just because some people say so and others choose to repeat the mantra.
Israel for example, is an excellent democracy…for Jews, but its Arab citizens are S.O.L., which is very similar to South Africa which also had an excellent democracy…for its Whites.
A democracy derives it power from the people and therefore, must serve the needs of its people…ALL its people.
Of course, the lynchpin of a democracy is its people; if the people are not vigilant and if the people do not participate, then the democracy becomes a government for special interests which get narrower and narrower until the people are forgotten.
Britain is a monarchy, but works very well as a democracy…much better than the US.
The US comes close to being a good democracy except that it is fast turning into a Plutocracy, a tool for Big Industry to exploit people more, at this rate, the US will soon, not be much better for its people than Pakistan’s “democracy”.
Pakistan is a terrible excuse for a democracy and countries like Pakistan allow the detractors of democracy, to say democracy is no good. Muslims allow themselves to believe that a religion-driven (Islam) country is better than any democracy and most Muslims repeat this mantra without engaging in any thought. Perhaps they do not engage in thought because they belong to the majority sect and will be the ones in power and of course, any government is best for the Majority who run it.
Supporters of an “Islamic Government” never face the sticky questions of such a proposition. An ideal Islamic state will have a Sharia Council comprising of representations from all sects. This council will have to first codify a Sharia that works for all Mulsim sects and is not tailored to support one school of thought. After a shariah code is developed and agreed upon, the Shariah council must decide and codify a Fiqh (set of laws) which will be equitable for all sects as well as for all non-Muslims, because a justice system that cannot mete out Justice equally, is a failed justice system.
In today’s reality, which sect will be representing Islam in a “Muslim” country? In Iran, we have Shias running the government and while it is a terrible form of government, it is still vastly better than places like Pakistan or, Arabia, where Sunnis are running the government.
Inevitably, the majority sect will first ace out its minority sects and then, persecute them as we can see in any of the above countries.
Muslims in America are mostly in a peculiar situation…of their own making.
Many, if not most of us have our bodies in this country while our heads are “back home”. We have painted an unrealistic, idealized, picture and feel so connected with the Old Country that we cannot see ourselves as participating in this country and as a result, we fail to engage fully here. We disengage from working with anything that “stinks” of government; Police, FBI, military, political offices…you name it and we will not be found there.
We (most Muslims) convince ourselves that what will really work is a Shariah-based system and since it will not happen here, why do anything?
Of course, the consequence of our lack of participation is that our enemies (right-wing Christians and right-wing Jews) get to move the country against us. Thus, Constitution notwithstanding, we get atrocities such as the Secret Evidence Act, the USAPATRIOT Act, the NDAA 2012 and a host of other legal maneuverings that leave us Muslims in such a tight spot that if we even sneeze, we are considered to be working for “trrrrzm“.
Naturally, the tighter we get squeezed, the more we allow ourselves to believe that the political situation in America is not for us so, why bother to participate?
…and the squeeze gets tighter because there are no negative consequences for our persecutors or, for those who move them.
We keep invoking God, but He is waiting for us to take charge of our own circumstances first.