This blog is an elaboration of yesterday’s in light of some comments and questions that have been raised in the comments box.
One thing that came up is that Populo- errr, ok, Democracy, is not to blame for Cuba, for Vietnam, for Korea. You know what, that’s true. The principals of democracy themselves say nothing about waging unjust wars as a matter of policy, in fact, they say basically nothing at all about such matters. That’s the problem. They have no such manifesto or creed that outlines where war can and cannot be justified. There is no concept of approving military measures only under certain circumstances, the motive behind a certain war doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is- can it be supported by popular opinion?
Like in the cases of Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, the motives behind those and other conflicts are unimportant, (regardless of whether they were justifiable or unjustifiable, capitalist or nationalist) the fact is those conflicts were approved, not on the basis of a just cause, but on popular support. The only principle of Democracy is that whatever the majority votes for will happen, and the fact that a majority can be emotionally swayed with government propaganda to support an unjust war is something that should be taken into consideration when looking at the system. On the other hand, a just cause without popular support will go un-fought for unless the populace changes its mind, as in the case of Bosnia (which took years to gather support), and like many places in Africa now where genocide and human rights abuses definitely warrant third-party intervention and peace-keeping action, but there has been no action on the US’s part simply because the average citizen will not approve.
I would ask anyone who stood up for democracy what they would say if suddenly laws were passed against them. What if you, Joe Average Muslim, were suddenly ordered to be deported because new anti-Muslim laws were voted into power? Of course, they might be called something fancier, like Muslim Exclusion Acts, or Homeland Security measures, but these laws would still be calling for you to be arrested and uprooted without compensation because popular opinion decided you were dangerous due solely to your religious inclination. Or what if you, Joe Muslim, were fired from your job because it was illegal to have a beard? What if you, Joe Muslim, had your daughter expelled from school because she refused to remove her head-scarf? What if you were legally forbidden from reading or teaching the Qur’an in Arabic?
Heck, what if Islam was suddenly made illegal because it “promoted terrorism,” as many Americans believe. It wouldn’t matter that you know better, and even some Americans know better, because you guys are a minority and the minority is doomed. Would you still stand up for democracy then? Even though it had betrayed you? It would be no fault of democracy’s, because rule by popular opinion is the foundation of democracy, and the principle then would be no different than it is now.
It is the main principle of democracy, government by popular opinion, that is fundamentally flawed. There are no social guidelines, there are no limits to how low a society can go so long as a majority approves. There is no concept of morality, or right or wrong, and depending on how popular opinion is feeling, the pendulum can swing between the puritanically ferocious (she’s a witch, burn her!) and the irresponsibly lax. It won’t matter if the ozone layer is eroded to an ozone doily, the environmental protection laws won’t be passed unless you can convince at least 51% of people that they shouldn’t be environmentally-unfriendly, and most people don’t like you telling them what to do. Joe American likes his SUV. Good luck.
The alternative to democracy for Muslims is Shariah, which is typically accused of being harsh, brutal, and discriminatory to non-Muslims. But this blog is long enough today already, and I’ll talk about Shariah and these accusations in my next post, InshaAllah.
Now, my comments link is as follows, and I don’t expect everyone to agree, but I do expect all of you guys to behave yourselves!
(Don’t make me give you time in the corner, the English teacher said.)