Should democracy take root, it requires a democratic soul of the people and the values of equality and the separation between politics and religion. Christianity sowed the thoughts of Europeans. Islam on the other hand does not contain the necessary virtues
We tend to think that freedom of the absence of tyranny by itself leads to democracy. As long as the tyrant is removed, democracy will grow by itself.
The political leadership in the United States harbored a simple belief in this context, since it helped to topple Saddam Hussein and remove his supporters from power. But the case turned out not to be so simple. And what should we make of the ongoing turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East? Are we to believe that when tyrants is on the field, the political space will be filled by a democratic order?
When we think about the issues, we headed immediately into a wrong track, because we tend to regard freedom as the highest political value, and because we believe that there is a clear relationship between freedom and democracy. But this is not the concepts together.
There is no clear connection between political freedom and democracy. If society does freedom of the individual’s freedom to decide for themselves at the highest political value, it ends up not being able to make a judgment about what values the individual should have. And so ends the society not to have any higher value than the individual himself appears.
A society in the position eroded any political legitimacy. It can not be binding way justify a common political order. Therefore it is contradictory for a political order to make freedom the absence of any oppression to the highest political value a political value that trumps all other political values. This is also a secular democratic order as ours. It can not be stable if it makes freedom to the highest political value, as it undermines the foundation on which it stands.
Rationality is the core.
The next question then is: If it is not rational to put freedom as the highest political value, which value society so set higher than freedom? What value is it rational for society and for the individual to set as the highest? When the question is asked so, the answer is already given. It is rationality, which must be the highest value in that it at least has to be the ultimate measure of what is the highest value.
When we put rationality as the highest value, we can not simply assume that freedom absence of tyranny leads to the rational ideal form of society. So we must instead begin by asking how we, as rational people should organize our common society.
To answer this question we must go back to ethics to the question of how we all should act as a result of that we are people who are able to act with responsibility. In principle we can justify a rational ethical basic principle which says that we as a people should act in consistency with that each of us can live like people.
From this principle we can deduce some consequences in terms of how we should organize our common society. First, we conclude that no one has a special right to take political decisions, and therefore should be fundamentally political equality thus a form of democracy.
Secondly, we can conclude that there should be laws ensuring that all members of society including the vulnerable can live as people are free to form their own political and religious opinion, and having the knowledge prerequisites for To exploit this freedom.
Thus we see that when we put rationality as the highest value, we get the secular democratic order as our political ideal. There is a straightforward connection from the first to the second.
The same applies the other hand, not if we put freedom as the highest value. Therefore we
only understand our secular democratic societies form correctly, if we understand it as an attempt to organize society rationally. We misunderstand it if we think that it is first and foremost an attempt to organize society freely.
The legacy of Jesus.
Do we understand so much, we also understand that a secular democratic society does not arise simply because it overturns a tyrannical ruler. It occurs not only as a natural consequence of freedom of citizens. This requires that citizens feel bound by the basic rational ideas of mutual political equality and the secularization of the political. Before the rational democratic order can stand on its own feet, these ideas have taken root in the general population heads.
But people are not necessarily so rational that it happens by itself only in the absence of external oppression. There should be a learning process before people are rational ideas into the heads; and it is only the experience so history can teach us how difficult it is.
When we look at history, we can see that it is first and foremost in the European culture, that from its own resources has been able to build fairly well-functioning secular democratic society. Since there is reason to believe that the Europeans themselves are more rational than others, so it is likely that the ideas that they prejudged the minds thus their religion made a difference. And when we analyze the core of the Europeans ‘religion of Christianity narrative of Jesus’ life and preaching, we discover that it just contains the ideas of personal equality and the separation between politics and religion.
Thus we have a very simple explanation of why the European countries were able to build a secular democratic social order. They have had a religion, which has helped them because it simply placed the ideas that are prerequisite for a secular democratic order can function in the general population heads.
Islam is undemocratic.
At this point, we can identify two crucial points. Firstly, that the secular democratic order is a rational ideal, and that it does not happen by itself, simply because tyranny removed. Secondly, when this ideal has taken root in the countries that are rooted in European culture, it is because one there had a religion which supported rationality.
It is in this context that we must assess the political situation in the Middle East and North Africa when tyrants overthrown. Here Islam stands in the place where European countries have Christianity. And Islam has a message that is radically different from Christianity.
In Islam’s core is no impulse to separate religion and politics. On the contrary, Islam comes even with a system of law which will apply to society. And in this system of law is made additionally difference between Muslims and non-Muslims. While Christianity in its core content supports an evolution towards a secular democratic social order, as Islam stands as an obstacle to such a development.
The difference we need to when we assess the political situation in North Africa and the Middle East. We do not know what will happen, but we know that they have a religion that makes it harder for them to build a secular democratic social order. They must not only overthrow tyrants. They must also overcome their own religion demands to determine the laws of society. Everything suggests that the game is very difficult.
The many Western observers, who now see democracy grow in the Middle East and North Africa, are blind to this difficulty. They do not understand how hard it is to build a functioning democratic order. That it requires a measure of rationality that people might find it difficult to comply with and which we in Europe might only have been able to meet because we were helped by our religion. Whether we otherwise have the necessary rationality, only time will tell and we must not be too sure.