5.0 out of 5 stars A Contrarian View of the Democracy Project” October 6, 2012
By P. Gibbs VINE™ VOICE
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This is a worthy successor to The Grand Jihad, Andy McCarthy’s previous book. For regular readers of his columns for National Review, the author’s criticism of the so-called “Arab Spring” is no surprise. Mr. McCarthy has been a skeptic of the democracy project, started during the George W. Bush Administration, because he sees democratic civil government as requiring more than elections and written constitutions.
The cultural foundation for a civil society are obvious in American history but largely absent in any country in the Middle East besides Israel. Americans had developed the habits of representative government for over 100 years before the American Revolution. We had freedom of religion throughout the 13 colonies (albeit some more than others) long before the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.
The Islamic culture does not leave room for a civil society because the Koran, and the Islamic jurisprudence derived from it during Islam’s first few centuries, prescribes the rules for every part of a Muslim’s existence. Since the Koran is believed by Muslims to contain the direct communication from Allah to his prophet, it is not open to interpretation and its authority is absolute. That is not the belief system of all Muslims, but it is of the most orthodox and the most powerful elements of every Arab country in the Middle East.
A Muslim who advocates a secular government has no place to stand when a more orthodox Muslim accuses him of deviating from the Koran and thus of being an apostate. The penalty for apostasy is death.
The difference in Western Civilization becomes obvious when one considers the passage from the Bible, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”
Andrew McCarthy explains all this in detail and educates the reader as to the importance of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is more than a political party and acts throughout the Middle East to promote Islamic supremacy and oppose the influence of western ideas, such as freedom of conscience, freedom and equality for women, and pluralism.
The author’s thesis is fairly clear: the “Arab Spring” does not resemble the liberation of Eastern Europe from Communism. It is the culmination of almost 100 years of effort by the Muslim Brotherhood to drive out western style government (no matter whether they were republics or dictatorships). The goal is for all countries in the Middle East and North Africa to be under one set of rules that are based on Islamic law.
It is going to get a lot worse before it gets better in that part of the world.