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Democracy Vs. Islam
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg - August 23, 2001
 
During the first intifada, which erupted in December 1987 and dissipated five years later, more than 200 Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza were murdered by their own brethren. Even more chilling and revealing, some 62% of Israel"s own Arab citizens openly supported Saddam Hussein"s rape of Kuwait, a Muslim country, and cheered as his Scud missiles fell on Tel Aviv! Yet Israel"s political leaders speak and act as if there are no fundamental cultural obstacles preventing Jews and Arabs from living together in peace and equality.
Meanwhile, various academics refer to Israel"s 1979 treaty with Egypt as if it were incontrovertible evidence of a change in that regime"s basic attitude toward Jews and the Jewish state. However, in SEMITES AND ANTISEMITES, Bernard Lewis, a world renowned expert on Islam, documents how, in Egypt, even the "Old Testament" is the object of Islamic defamation, and how this unrelieved vilification of anything Jewish was encouraged by Anwar Sadat both before and after the 1979 treaty.

Ponder a statement Sadat made to the Egyptian National Democratic Party a year after he signed that treaty with Israel: "Despite the present differences with the Arab "rejectionist" rulers over the Egyptian peace initiative, the fact remains that these differences are only tactical not strategic, temporary not permanent." Consistent therewith, Egypt has been supplying its client the PLO-Palestinians with arms in their war against Israel.

Arab writers regard the Arab-Israeli conflict as basically a religious one. This being so, it will not be dissolved by merely political and/or military means. Such democratic notions as "confidence-building" and "conflict resolution" are foreign to Islamic mentality. It is simply an ethnocentric conceit or dogma to think that democratic politics can solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. The basic characteristics of democracy are diametrically opposed to Arab-Islamic culture.

First of all, and notwithstanding the influence of money and TV journalism, it is still theoretically correct to say that democracy is based on the primacy of persuasion and consent. Democracy is therefore adorned with a certain easy-goingness and civility. Not only are past grievances readily swept aside, but political opponents can be friends despite their differences. Differences are resolved by mutual concessions, and agreements are usually lasting. In contrast, Arab-Islamic culture is based on the primacy of coercion. Agreements between rival factions do not really terminate animosities, which is why such agreements are so short-lived.


Second, thanks to the biblical influence on the West, democracy is based on the primacy of the individual. Conversely, Arab-Islamic culture is based on the primacy of the group--be it the village or the extended family. The individual Muslim has no identity outside the group; it is to the group that he owes all his loyalty. This is one reason why internecine conflict has been endemic among Arabs throughout history.


Third, freedom, including freedom of speech, is one of the two cardinal principles of democracy. This is not the case in Arab-Islamic culture, which is strictly authoritarian, and whose media are government-controlled.


Fourth, unlike democracy, whose other cardinal principle is equality, Arab-Islamic culture is strictly hierarchical. Top-down leadership is a fundamental principle of Islamic theology. Authority runs down from Allah to Muhammad and from Muhammad to the imam, the ruler of the regime.


Fifth, democracy is generally regarded as a process--the "rules of the game"--by which various individuals pursue their private interests and have diverse values or "lifestyles." This is not the case in Arab-Islamic culture, which binds everyone to the set of substantive values prescribed in the Koran.


Sixth, whereas democracy is inclined toward moral relativism, Islam is based on absolutism. The former conduces to tolerance, the latter to intolerance. Admittedly, Islamic regimes tolerate non-Islamic minorities, but only as dhimmies or second-class citizens.


Seventh, whereas democratic societies are preoccupied with the present (the "now"), Arab-Islamic culture exists under the aspect of eternity. What dominates Islamic mentality is the past and the future, which is why revenge for past injuries is a dominant motif of the Arab world. And given their loyalty to the group, they are religiously bound to wreak vengeance against those who have slighted the honor of any Muslim.


Eighth, the openness or publicity found in democracy stands in striking contrast to the hiddeness, secrecy, and dissimulation characteristic of Islam.


Finally, whereas democracy is steeped in secularism, Arab-Islamic culture is rooted in religion. Even Arab leaders who are not devout Muslims identify with the basic goals of Islam. The radical separation of religion and politics found in democracy is foreign to Islamic regimes.
In view of the above considerations, only doctrinaire democrats can believe that democratic politics can solve the Arab-Israel conflict.
It will be asked: "Is there no end to this conflict?" The end is not in sight. But meantime, a normal and healthy people will be prepared to crush and thereby deter its enemies.
 
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* * * ВЫРАЖАЕМ СВОИ ГЛУБОКИЕ СОБОЛЕЗНОВАНИЯ ПО ПОВОДУ ТРАГЕДИЙ, ПРОИЗОШЕДШИХ: В 04.03.2001. Нетания. 3 погибших. 28.03.2001. Кфар-Саба. 2 погибших. 22.04.2001. Кфар-Саба. 1 погибший. 10.05.2001. Нетания. 5 погибших. 01.06.2001. Тель-Авив. "Дольфи". 21 погибших. 09.08.2001. Иерусалим. 14 погибших. 07.10.2001. Шелухот. 1 погибший. 29.11.2001. Гуш Шмуэль. 3 погибших. 01.12.2001. Иерусалим. 9 погибших. 02.12.2001. Хайфа. 14 погибших. 27.01.2002. Иерусалим. 1 погибший. 02.03.2002. Иерусалим. 11 погибших. 05.03.2002. Афула. 1 погибший. 09.03.2002. Иерусалим. 11 погибших. 20.03.2002. Вади Ара. 7 погибших. 21.03.2002. Иерусалим. 2 погибших. 27.03.2002. Нетания. 24 погибших. 30.03.2002. Иерусалим. 2 погибших. 30.03.2002. Тель-Авив. 1 погибший. 31.03.2002. Хайфа. 15 погибших. 10.04.2002. Перекресток "Ягур". 10 погибших. 12.04.2002. Иерусалим. 6 погибших. 06.05.2002. Ришон ле-Цион. 15 погибших. 19.05.2002. Нетания. 3 погибших. 22.05.2002. Ришон ле-Цион. 2 погибших. 27.05.2002. Петах-Тиква. 2 погибших. 05.06.2002. Перекресток "Мегидо". 16 погибших. 06.06.2002. Герцлия. 1 погибший. 18.06.2002. Иерусалим. 19 погибших. 17.07.2002. Тель-Авив. 2 погибших.04.08.2002.Перекресток "Мерон". 9 погибших. 19.09.2002. Тель-Авив. 5 погибших. 10.10.2002. Рамат Ган. 1 погибший. 21.10.2002. Перекресток "Каркур". 14 погибших. 27.10.2002. Ариэль. 3 погибших. 04.11.2002. Кфар-Саба. 2 погибших. 21.11.2002. Иерусалим. 11 погибших. 05.01.2003. Тель-Авив. 24 погибших. 05.03.2003. Хайфа. 17 погибших. 24.04.2003. Кфар-Саба. 1 погибший. 30.04.2003. Тель-Авив. 3 погибших. 17.05.2003. Хеврон. 2 погибших. 18.05.2003. Иерусалим. 7 погибших. 19.05.2003. Афула. 3 погибших. 11.06.2003. Иерусалим. 17 погибших. 19.06.2003. Сде-Трумот. 1 погибший. 07.07.2003. Кфар Явец. 1 погибшая. 12.08.2003. Рош а-Айн. 1 погибший. 12.08.2003. Ариэль. 3 погибших. 19.08.2003. Иерусалим. 23 погибших. 09.09.2003. Црифин. 9 погибших. 09.09.2003. Иерусалим. 7 погибших. 04.10.2003. Хайфа. 21 погибших. 25.12.2003. Бней-Брак. 4 погибших. 14.01.2004. КПП "Эрез". 4 погибших. 29.01.2004. Иерусалим. 11 погибших. 22.02.2004. Иерусалим. 8 погибших. 14.03.2004. Ашдод. 10 погибших. 17.04.2004. КПП "Эрез". 1 погибший. 31.08.2004. Беэр-Шева. 16 погибших. 22.09.2004. Иерусалим. 2 погибших. 01.11.2004. Тель-Авив. 3 погибших. 12.12.2004. КПП "Рафиах". 5 погибших. 13.01.2005. КПП "Карни". 6 погибших. 18.01.2005. Гуш-Катиф. 1 погибший. 25.02.2005. Тель-Авив. 5 погибших. 12.07.2005. Нетания. 5 погибших. 05.12.2005. Нетания. 5 погибших. 17.04.2006. Тель-Авив. 7 погибших. 04.02.2008. Димона, 1 погибший. ! ! ! ГИБЕЛЬ НИ В ЧЕМ НЕПОВИННЫХ ЛЮДЕЙ ОТ РУК ТЕРРОРИСТОВ. ПУСТЬ ЗЕМЛЯ БУДЕТ ИМ ПУХОМ ! ! ! * * *

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