“Democratizing Muslim countries means leaving Islam,” by Salem Ben Ammar (translation from the French by RF), August 18, 2015:
“To hell with democracy! Long live Islam!” One hundred percent of Muslims agree with that. To say anything else is apostasy from Islam. These two competing political systems are antithetical to each other. You can’t be democratic and be a Muslim or a Muslim and be a democrat. A Jew can’t be a Nazi and a Nazi can’t be a Judeophile.
Neither Tunisia nor any other Muslim country is or will be truly democratic. Islam is the brain and the spinal fluid of all Muslims. Outside its path, there’s no salvation for them. Now, it’s rather hard to imagine Muslims abandoning Islam to embark on the democratic path. They’ll be the first to take advantage of benefits in the West, right up till the day when they become masters of the political game and with democratic legitimacy be able to impose the dictatorship of Islam and put to death individual and collective freedoms. It won’t be an Islamic republic that’ll see the light of day…that’s just an optical illusion as in the case of Iran…it’ll be a caliphate to govern the Muslim Reich, the Ummah.
No Muslim country can boast of having succeeded in its democratic experience, when generous portions of their constitutions are concerned with Islam and the state is made the protector of the sacred. Even Turkey is far from being a democratic state and its choice of secularism doesn’t agree with the nation’s political convictions. Its internal law is still ruled by the principles of Muslim law which does not guarantee equality between men and women and doesn’t protect the rights of minorities.
Nor is Tunisia a model of enlightened, elective theocracy with its constitution dictated by Islamists obsessed with Sharia and the caliphate that boasts of total allegiance to Islam, that no state may exist without Islam or have non-Muslim citizens or human rights incompatible with Islam, such as equality between women and men.
In a democratic system, religion cannot codify the life of its citizens and dictate to them the conduct to be followed in the management of public affairs and their individual liberties. Using the excuse that it’s a Muslim country, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on Friday. Forbidding women to marry a non-Muslim or to force fasters to hide to eat during Ramadan is proof of the pre-eminence of religion above private human business.
A religion that is too present in the life of people and in the marketplace can only hurt the blossoming of truly democratic societies. Democracy is not a simple matter of elections by universal suffrage. It needs to be neutral to all influence by religion, and making laws mustn’t be conducted in the name of Allah.
In a real democracy, justice is not done in the name of Allah. Justice is for men, what religion is for God. Inasmuch as the voice of the people is castrated, denied, hidden for the benefit of Allah, Muslim countries are condemned to live under the tyranny of Islam. Such experiences of democracy are just mirages that evaporate at the first call to prayer.