The Secular Democratic State and Islam

By Prof Paul Eidelberg

The founders of modernity, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Marx, prepared the foundations for the secular democratic state . In the name of philosophy and science, they undermined the authority of the Bible and removed religion from the domain of truth . Modernity, however, has spawned post-modernism, where truth has given way to moral and cultural relativism, the reigning doctrine of the secular democratic state now in process of decade.

Secular democracy was the goal of the Zionists who established the State of Israel . Their Zionism was based on the territorial nationalism of nineteenth-century Europe. Today, secular Zionism is dead, succeeded by “post-Zionists” anxious to exchange territory for peace, but gaining for their efforts nothing but violent death.

For Muslims the issue is not territory. Their goal is to destroy the enemy. Nothing can placate their hatred of the enemy because the enemy is Western civilization, which passed them by centuries ago, making nonsense of their religion’s vaunted superiority. (The total number of books translated into Arabic in the last 1,000 years is fewer than those translated in Spain in one year. )

Scholars tainted by cultural relativism are obviously disinclined to subject Islam to objective, historical and philosophical analysis. Islam was overtly rejected by the twelfth-century Arab-born philosopher al-Farabi, who was a Muslim in dress only. Robert Spencer, The Truth About Muhammad (2006), provides an abundance of documentary evidence about the unholy character of Islam’s founder. Professor Efraim Karsh’s new book Islamic Imperialism: A History, goes even further. As epitomized by Theodore Dalrymple:

    Karsh does not mince words about Mohammad’s early and (to all those who do not accept the divinity of his inspiration) unscrupulous resort to robbery and violence, or about Islam’s militaristic aspects, or about the link between Islamic tradition and the current wave of fundamentalist violence in the world . The originality of Karsh’s interpretation is its underlying assumption that Islam was, from the very beginning, a pretext for personal and dynastic political ambition, from the razzias against the Meccan caravans and the expulsion of Jewish tribes from Medina , to the siege of Vienna a millennium later in 1529, and Hamas today . [Emphasis added]

And if “Hamas today,” why not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Can it be that Islam remains to this day a façade to justify the personal and imperialistic ambitions of thugs and despots? Muslims have slaughtered countless millions of Christians, Jews, and Hindus, in the name of Allah. And now, in mosques everywhere, they intone “Death to America ” and “Death to Israel ”!

Only sheltered academic relativists (or petrified adolescents) would place Islam on the same level of democracy. Despite democracy’s libertarian shortcomings, they are nothing compared to those of totalitarian Islam. Nevertheless, it was a democracy steeped in moral decay that spawned Hitler, and this decay is again quite conspicuous in Europe.

Indeed, throughout the democratic world, the separation of morality and public law has led to the decline of both . As Lord Patrick Devlin has written, just as morality requires the support of law, so law requires the support of morality . England , once famed for the rule of law, now has the highest crime rate in the developed world; and its civility has given way to barbarity .

Dalrymple writes:

    …no Briton nowadays goes many hours without wondering how to avoid being victimized by a criminal intent on theft, burglary, or violence . An unholy alliance between politicians and bureaucrats who want to keep prison costs to a minimum, and liberal intellectuals who pretend to see in crime a natural and understandable response to social injustice, which it would be a further injustice to punish, has engendered a prolonged and so far unfinished experiment in leniency that has debased the quality of life of millions of people, especially the poor . [Emphasis added]

Without denying the blessings of democracy, its two cardinal principles, freedom and equality, do not provide rational and moral constraints. Consider these rulings of Israel ’s Supreme Court under its former president, Judge Aharon Barak:

    · The court quashed the indictments of Arab MKs who urged Israeli Arabs to emulate Hezbollah .

    · The court legitimized homosexual adoptions, and virtually legalized same-sex marriage .

    · The court nullified Knesset legislation permitting the Film Censorship Board to ban pornographic movies by ruling that nothing can actually be declared por­nog­raphy, as one man’s pornography is another man’s art .

Note the nihilism: (a) no restraints even on insurrectionary speech by Arab MKs; (b) all lifestyles are morally equal; (c) the beautiful and the ugly are purely subjective .

To appreciate the logical tendency of the Barak-inspired court, ponder a recent ruling of a Dutch court . Dalrymple is again my source . The Dutch court allowed the Brotherly Love, Freedom, and Diversity Party to contest in national elections:

    The party was formed by pedophiles, and its political program consists of lowering the age of consent to sexual intercourse from 16 to 12, the legalization of the possession of child pornography and of sexual intercourse with animals (provided, of course, that they are not ill-treated and do not suffer as a result), as well as legal license to broadcast pornography during the day and violent pornography at night . It wants also to remove the taboo on pedophilia …

What is there in the basic principles of the secular democratic state—what is there in the rulings of Judge Barak—that precludes the rulings of that Dutch court?

Is Islam’s attack and encroachment on the West indicative of the world-historical shortcomings of the secular democratic state as well as a sign that Israel cannot survive under a secular dispensation?

January 1, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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