Islam is wholly incompatible with the kind of liberal democracy that we in the western world have come to regard as normal. It is not just the cultural elements associated with Islam that most of us find repugnant, such as FGM, the denigration of women, halal slaughter, “honour killing” and the rest. These may not be essential to Islam, as some “liberal” Muslims claim, though the fact that they are so entwined in the minds of countless Muslims worldwide indicates something deeply wrong with its intellectual structure. The two truly insurmountable obstacles in the way of Islam’s co-existing with democracy are its radical obscurantism and its ideal of theocracy.
Islam’s obscurantism – the fact that it deliberately prevents the facts or full details of something from becoming known – negates any possibility of critical or sceptical discussion. The Koran is the Word of God, and that’s that. How does one know it’s the Word of God? Because the Koran says so. Anyone who doesn’t accept that circular proposition is, ipso facto, an infidel, and infidels have no rights; though a merciful Islamic government may allow them living space, if they perform some useful service. Muslims cannot allow non-Muslims to utter anything critical of Islam, so the basic democratic principle of free speech is out of the question.
The old adage runs that democracy is the worst form of government, apart from all the others. Theocracy is the worst, including all the others, because those in command possess all power, both temporal and spiritual, to use Christian terminology.
A democracy is concerned only with what people do; a theocracy is equally concerned with what they think and believe. We already have theocracy creeping into our system of justice, with the concept of “hate crime”. The idea that an objective crime is somehow made worse by the emotion that is supposed to have motivated it is an essentially theocratic one.
The scourge of the 20th century was the atheist theocracy of communism, with its drive to ensure that its subjects had the “correct consciousness”. China’s Cultural Revolution was one of the most monstrous examples of communist theocracy in action, with the Red Guards persecuting millions for the crime of being educated and, perhaps, thoughtful.
In fact, Islam resembles communism in a number of ways. As a total system, claiming to have an answer to every question, it has no respect for other systems, sweeping them aside as soon as it has the power, but exploiting them when that serves its long-term objectives.
Just as 20th century communists would make use of the “bourgeois” freedoms allowed them by the democracies they despised, so Islam exploits the apparatus of the rights-and-equalities industry, all of which it would obliterate, once in power.
To both Islam and communism, the very existence of these freedoms is evidence of the decadence of democratic societies, which refuse to acknowledge the inevitability of the triumph of Sharia or the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Both justify any crime in pursuit of their particular goals. Both can count on the support of useful idiots in government, the media, social services and academia.
There is a dangerous myth that there is something “natural” about democracy and only adverse circumstances keep it from flowering. (It was this delusion that helped take the USA into Iraq.) In fact, it is no more natural than a garden, created by hard work and constant attention. Neglect it and it goes back to the jungle. That’s natural.
We must maintain democracy as a gardener maintains his garden, and we must keep it free from the ravages of the pestilent theocracy of Islam.