Islam and Democracy
21 February, 2012 § Leave a Comment
John and I were talking Islam and Democracy last night. He had to write a paper for a class he’s taking; we collaborate on many things, so why not this? Anyway, I took notes while we were talking, and I thought they were worth publishing, if only for my own records and not for yours.
the Islamic world, when discussing Islam and Democracy, can’t be anything other than a straw manthere’s your army of straw men–in your Islam And books. the Islamic world means something when it’s referring to a regular old thing–”Men in the Islamic world wear sparkly jeans/buildings are made of steel-reinforced concrete are popular in the Islamic world” but when you put Islamic world in the context of Islam and Democracy IT HAS TO BE A STRAW MAN.We cannot say that democracy is compatible with a world that is described in terms of meaningful statements like this, wherein buildings are made of steel reinforced concrete and peugeots are held together by coat hangers–that’s nonsensical. It can’t be sensical. When you describe the Islamic world with meaningful statements, you haven’t described a world that can or cannot be compatible with democracy. So, when you talk about Islam and democracy, Islam there has to a straw man, because to say it is either is or isn’t compatible with democracy means making up an Islamic world using nonmeaningful statements (such as that the Arab mind is easily inflamed).