Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why Is The Muslim World Repressed?

I just thought of something, and I wonder if anyone would like to weigh in on it. When you look at a map of freedom in the world, you see that Muslim countries have fewer freedoms of all kinds than the rest of the world. The whole Muslim world is ruled by kings and dictatorships, and the countries tend to be ruled in a very repressive way. Is there an exception anywhere? I can't think of one. Even in countries that have not been strictly ruled by Islamic law, such as Saddam's Iraq, the government still ruled with an iron fist.

It just occurred to me that when a huge percentage of a country is Islamic, maybe you have to rule with an iron fist. Muslims will push for Shari'a law relentlessly — violently when they can get away with it (non-violently if that's all they can do). The Islamic push is so persistent, so energetic, so resolute, so unyielding, and so relentless, maybe the only way to keep it from usurping power is to forcefully and even cruelly repress it.

So we have what we have now: Countries either repressively ruled by Islamic law, or countries repressively ruled by some other form of law. But no free countries.

Maybe any country that tried to have less repression and more freedom could not survive and it has already been usurped by Islam. In other words, maybe the only non-Muslim governments in Muslim-majority areas that can survive the relentless onslaught are totalitarian, tyrannical regimes.

What do you think?


WC said...

"Maybe any country that tried to have less repression and more freedom could not survive and it has already been usurped by Islam. In other words, maybe the only non-Muslim governments in Muslim-majority areas that can survive the relentless onslaught are totalitarian, tyrannical regimes."

The problem is that Islam is NOT compatible with democracy - therefore and regime that is secular must outlaw the religion before they try to allow freedoms to flourish.

It's a simple as that.

WC said...

Correction to my post.

Sharia law must be outlawed.

Damien said...

Citizen Warrior,

Its not perfect, and even there the Islamists may be slowly gaining some ground, but what about Turkey?

Citizen Warrior said...

I thought about Turkey, too, Damien. I was hoping someone could come up with an exception.

I know Turkey is considered a democracy. Does anyone know if that democracy was created (or is maintained) by massive repression of some kind?

Also, from the article about Turkey Damien gives above, I thought this was interesting:

"The Turkish Constitution explicitly states that religions cannot become involved in the political process (by forming a religious party for instance) and no party can claim that it represents a form of religious belief."

Whoever wrote the constitution of Turkey was perspicacious.

Damien said...

Citizen Warrior,

Here's another Wikiapedia article with more detail on Turkey, and it mentions the origins of its republic.

I don't know what kind of foresight the people who wrote their constitution may have had, but without commitment to follow and a constitution and hold the government accountable, a country, even with strict protections of individual liberty could turn into a dictatorship. For it to work, a constitution must be enforced, and it cannot be ignored by the people who's liberty it is supposed to protect.

Even if Turkey's Constitution protects freedom of religion and does not allow religious political parties, they may not be following it like they should. Fortunately I have heard about some protests on behalf on secularism in Turkey. But I have also heard some bad news. For the moment, I can't find the links but I have heard that somethings have been banned in Turkey, just for being offensive to religion, and you know what that means.

Citizen Warrior said...

Thanks Damien.

I'm reading those links, but so far it goes into detail about what reforms the secular government created when the democracy was formed without saying how much opposition to it they encountered (in other words, how much forceful repression was required to create it or is now required to maintain it).

There was one interesting passage, though:

"Probably the most controversial area of reform was that of religion. The policy of state secularism ("active neutrality") met with opposition at the time and it continues to generate a considerable degree of social and political tension. However, any political movement that attempts to harness religious sentiment at the expense of Turkish secularism is likely to face the opposition of the armed forces, which has always regarded itself as the principal and most faithful guardian of secularism. A historical example is the case of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, who was overthrown by the military in 1960."

Anonymous said...

Hugh Fitzgerald often writes about the limits of Kemalism.

Fitzgerald: In Turkey, Islam is permanent, Kemalism transient

Islam is permanent, Kemalism transient. Islam will always be a threat, as long as it has not been so discredited, so weakened, so tied down, that it cannot again escape from its box.

The lesson of Turkey is that eternal vigilance on behalf of secularism is necessary, and those who have been the beneficiaries of such secularism are foolish not to recognize that it occasionally requires military force (that of the Turkish Army) and constant reinforcement of legal measures taken against the outward expression of Islam as a political and social force, to keep Islam in its place, since it cannot otherwise be dealt with or transmogrified into something less menacing.

Fitzgerald: Turkey: Kemalism on the ropes

If Kemalism is on the ropes, it is not because the Kemalists have been too ruthless, but because they have not been nearly ruthless enough. They did not push, relentlessly, their program after the first few decades, and some of those who followed were content to pocket the benefits of Kemalism without systematically trying to change the minds of the masses -- and the masses remained largely unaffected.

Fitzgerald: Turkey and the Straw
Turkey is a "secular nation" with a "majority Muslim population"? Turkey is, despite more than 80 years of Kemalism, with its systematic campaign to suppress Islam's political and social power, not nearly "secular" enough. Islam is back -- not that it ever went away -- and how. Erbakan, and then Ergodan, and then Abdullah Gul, and all the rest of it. The cunning assault on the legitimacy of the army, the final upholder of Kemalism. The assault from within the universities on secular rectors and professors, and the determination to renew state support for Muslim schools and openness to government hiring of graduates of strictly Muslim schools and colleges. No, Turkey is not what it may once have been -- say, in 1940, or even 1950. Islam keeps coming back.

And Turkey does not have a "majority Muslim population." Its population is 99% Muslim.


Citizen Warrior said...

Very helpful, HRW. Thank you.

So it seems they are holding their "secular" government in place with hard repression (but not hard enough).

Are there any other countries who have tried? I know Egypt has tried to become a democracy. Who else?

In a way, becoming a democracy allows Islam to take over the government that much faster, doesn't it?

Epaminondas said...

I can say's it religion this and that, and the madman blah blah blah...but int he end it comes down to one thing ...


Until they figure out that half their population is not a receptacle whose pleasure should be eliminated, whose brain must be dulled with drudgery, and who is not some kind of lesser being, they will be a backward, grubbing, largely uneducated, and primitive folk.

And then, they will finally GET LAID by PARTNERS who WANT THE SAME THING and forget all this STOOOOOPID STOOOOPID shit

Citizen Warrior said...

Epa, it does seem that the prosperity of the country is directly related to the women's freedom in that country. The more freedom for women, the more prosperous then nation.

Damien said...

Citizen Warrior,

Don't forget, you've also talked about how women's rights can help defeat Islamic terrorism and Sharia many times on your blog, like here, and you talked about another time here.