ICC Note: We have no desire to be in the middle of the political tug of war over whether we should be in Iraq. We understand both points of view on the subject. We post this article for the value of examining the writers proposition on Islamic democracy.
Building a democracy in a Muslim nation an impossibility
Iraq (RenewAmerica) As news comes that the Iraqi government has fallen into virtual paralysis due to sectarian bickering between Sunnis and Shias, there are two facets of our presence in Iraq that are important to keep in mind, and to keep distinct in our thinking.
One is that we do have national interests at stake there, and therefore have a justified military presence in the country. The first and highest duty of the federal government is to protect the security of the American people, and it is far better to fight al-Qaida in the streets of Baghdad than the streets of Brooklyn .
So the fundamental objective of our presence in Iraq should be quite simple: the use of military strength to subdue and eliminate the forces of al-Qaida, forces which are determined to destroy America, and which have already shown, on 9/11 and in every terrorist attack on innocent civilians, their willingness to do unthinkable things to kill anyone they consider an infidel.
However, beyond the national security issues at stake, President Bush has undertaken a nation-building effort in Iraq , centered on leaving behind a democratic form of government.
Unfortunately, given the fundamental antipathy of Islam toward the essential elements of political liberty, this will be impossible. The president has, at least in public pronouncements, demonstrated a naïve assessment of Islam, and insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, on calling it a religion of peace.
Because he has grown up in an environment shaped by Christianity with its commitment to individual liberty and freedom of conscience, it is difficult for him to understand that not everyone has the same desire for freedom that Americans do.
The first civil right guaranteed in our Bill of Rights is freedom of religion. It not only is our first civil right, it is foundational to every other civil right. But this essential, foundational civil right is the one right above all others that Islamic nations cannot tolerate or respect or embrace, since it is a fundamental part of their worldview that Islam is destined to dominate the world, not through principled persuasion, which is the Christian way, but at the point of the sword.
The history of Islam is not a history of freedom and liberty of conscience, but of domination, subjugation, and tyranny. Residents of Muslim lands grow up believing that this political repression is the will of Allah, and therefore a good and noble thing. What Muslim people are trained to long for is not freedom of choice and religion, but absolute, iron-fisted Islamic dominance of every element of society.
Democracy simply cannot flourish in soil that has been made barren and spiritually sterile by Islam.
One dynamic found in authentic Christianity is a hunger and thirst for freedom. As an early Christian leader said, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” This quotation, found in 2 Corinthians 3:17, became an energizing slogan for the American people during our War for Independence from the repressive authority of the Crown.
But when that Spirit is absent, as it is in Muslim lands, so is the quest for liberty. Unless the people of Iraq experience radical spiritual renewal and awakening, the dynamics simply do not exist in that country, or any Islamic country, to build democratic institutions. Building a nation on Islamic soil which has a true respect for a republican form of government is an impossibility.
It has already become abundantly clear that whatever government we leave behind in Iraq will provide no protection at all for the religious practice of either Jews or Christians. The United States is expending no effort to enshrine religious liberty there. It makes no sense for a Christian nation to use its power to build a nation that has no respect and provides no protection for followers of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
The task before our government should be to accomplish its military mission, in order to protect the security of the American people, and then relinquish to the Iraqi people the work of building a government of their own choosing. It will not be a democratic form of government, because Islam will not permit such a government to take root.
As is true every place on earth, the only hope for the future of Iraq is a widespread, voluntary embrace of the transcendent standards of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Until that happens, the Iraqi people are doomed to unending violence, repression, and social instability.
Bryan Fischer is the Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance, whose mission is to make Idaho the friendliest place in the world to raise a family. He has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy (from Stanford University ) and a graduate degree in theology.