|I like what this chap had to say in the latest issue of the Economist:|
Islam and democracy
"SIR – You seem surprised by the failure of militant Islam in South-East Asia (“Turning back the tide”, June 4th). The word “tide” itself suggests an inevitable movement that was quelled in the nick of time by liberal democracy. This is not so. If militant Islam doesn't appear to pose an immediate threat now it is because the threat was largely illusory. In the last 20 years, only Sudan and Afghanistan have had radical Islamic governments, with large swathes of their populations opposing such government (incidentally, in both cases the Islamists were funded and supported by the United States as anti-communist forces prior to taking office). You also suggest that America's recent actions have helped stem this tide with a new secular and democratic order. I fail to see how. Secularism is not going to be made popular in the Muslim world by continuing support for dictatorships such as Pervez Musharraf's Pakistan or Islam Karimov's Uzbekistan. Moreover, the implication that a positive, anti-Islamist order has been established partly by the toppling of Saddam Hussein is absurd. How have Islamists been hurt by the replacement of a stable secular regime with an impoverished, unstable, insecure democratic regime dominated by a non-secular Islamist party, with ties to Iran, and whose parliamentary politics are reminiscent of Weimar Germany?"