DEMOCRACY VS. ISLAM. WHAT A MISMATCH!

Date: 29 Dec 2007

Comment:

--Democracy , simplistically is rule of the majority.

Democracy can only function is a society that goes beyond divisions
based on identity, where loyalty to an identity will outweigh other
considerations. It can only function in a homogenous society, where
the values are same, and moreover, where the rights of individual are
protected, and an individual is permitted to seek his/her potential as
a human being free from the diktats of those who seek conformity to a
particular group identity.

There are different kinds of group identities.

Group identities, such as we see in the USA or Western Europe or
Japan, are nation based, and the population holds similar values,
around family, and the rights of an individual- a live and let live
society. These kinds of societies are the societies, whom we
associate with term democracy, as we know it today,

When we speak of democracy in other countries, we come across
different challenges. In India for example we find that an election
can only be won, by an alignment of disparate groups who have little
in common- e.g an alliance of communists with religious based groups,
the kind that is in power today- a Congress, supported largely by
Islamic voters, with Communists, who are in turn supported by and
support Islamic parties, each driven solely by a desire to occupy the
seat of power.

In countries like Pakistan and the rest of the Islamic world, the
society is defined by the Islamic religion, which has a fascist hue,
than a homogenous society held together by values that seek the
emancipation and liberation of the human spirit.

These societies, are held together under a veneer of community 
Islam, but governed by as an oligarchy of feudal families, while the
common person is confined to a structure by the priests of its 
religion, who expound and enforce the values of the religion into
the society, and ensure that society as a whole conforms to these
tenets. Individuality is punished, and so is any attempt to leave the
fold, by fear induced by violence as threat, and then by actual
physical violence.

Most members of society would rather conform than risk ostracization
from family and societal groups.

Education and liberalization are the enemies of these kinds of these
kinds of society, and by that token so is democracy.

Democracy cannot and should not mean a simply rule of the majority.
This kind of democracy, be it in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or any other
nation dominated by Islam, simply means rule by a religio- fascist
group, whose aim was and is to rule and exploit the rest of the
society, who are doomed to live out their lives in subservience, in 
ignorance, without education, and in poverty.

Today a country like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Pakistan is dominated by
a religio- fascist society, Islamic, where a simple election by a
majority of votes, means the election of those , who will trample of
the rights and the harassment of those who do not conform to the
majority's views. The rest of the minorities, e.g. the remaining,
Hindus or Buddhists are exploited and have no rights, their daughters
kidnapped, and they are forced to convert to Islam. Every ancient
religion, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, 


has been
exterminated. or is on the verge of extermination. Steps like the 
destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas or the denial of cremation
facilities to the Hindus , Sikhs etc only confirm the overall
objective of this neo religio- fascist. Society and their progress to
their goal.

It is no accident that even as recently as fifty years ago west
Pakistan had a 25% population of Hindus, Sikhs, who are reduced now
to an insignificant minority, an underclass living in daily fear.

What democracy can exist then in such a society?

The current situation in Pakistan has to be analyzed in that light. 

The choices were between Sharif, and Bhutto and the Islamic parties or
the continued rule by the army under Musharraf.

Both Sharif and Bhutto were feudalists, whose wealth and power was
inherited from their immense rural holdings and the large number of
villages and villagers they had under their heels. Nothing had really
changed in the last 60 years. If anything they and the families like
them only consolidated their power and access to funds through
corruption. Not for nothing were the Bhutto's were known as Mr. and
Mrs. 10 %, because they took a 10 % cut as a bribe of every government
contract that was issued.

The armed forces were not to be left behind, and their
military-industrial complex were integrated into every industry from
agriculture to manufacturing, to drugs. The last was the most
lucrative, and to it they provided safe passage, by army convoy to
the Islamabad and Karachi, and by Air force transport to the Western
destinations. On occasion they would be caught as in the case of the,
rapidly hushed up, arrest of a Pakistani Air Force Major in New York
for carrying a consignment of drugs.

At the center of this nexus was the US bureaucracy the CIA , and the
State Department , to whom all this was part of State policy- and
proving safe passage to drug runners ahs always been one of them,- viz
Air America of the Vietnam days. This has always been in conflict with
the goals of the DEA, whose task was to stop drug smuggling. The CIA
would win in cases of, " National Interest ", as in the case of
Pakistan, and turn a blind eye to their drug smuggling.

We are told Bhutto was savior of democracy, was the Western world's
last hope and now the region and the West's hopes are now plunged into
darkness and despair.

The reality is harsher- Bhutto had done nothing to repeal the Sharia
laws brought in by her predecessor general Zia ul Haq, nor for that
matter was anything done by Sharif. The target was simply Hindus,
other minorities, and Hindustan, and India was targeted for terror
termed as `low intensity warfare'  what a lovely sanitized term.
Under that cover every generation of Pakistani leader, sought to
exploit their people and retain their comforts..

The problem now is that the very dogs they raised to attack
democracies like India, have morphed into lions, out of control.

The problem now is that while they may make noises of secularity and
democracy, in reality they are all devout Islamicists and will, when
the crunch comes , as it has come, support their neo-religious 
cause, and seek to bring the rest of the world under the shadow of
their version of Islam, rather than create a society that espouses
:liberty equality and fraternity.

Ravi Chaudhary


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