Comment by Joe on Previous Article
The unity of mosque and state, indeed mosque and military seems to me to be the deadliest element in the mix.The other most populous religions of the world, Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism lack this element. And in those contexts, making a separation between the sacred and the mundane is far easier. Those belief systems are also more amenable to independent internal reform. as their clerics and proponents are more independent of the constant battle for power and influence that animates the political world.But it is not to be underestimated that those other religions do not spend time or attention on how to regulate slavery, the taking of spoils, the conduct of war or other matters that characterized the comparatively primitive life of the time of their founding -- whereas mohammedanism does. Thus in the mohammedan countries medieval institutions and standards are preserved, indeed sacralized, by their regulation in holy writ.Finally I maintain that the most important element in all of this is not actually democracy but the concept of rights.The main articulations of the concept of rights are recent occurances, 17th & 18th century things from western Europe and America.All religions of the world antedate the discovery of the concept of rights, and have it nowhere in their teachings. For those religions whose other-worldliness leads them to "render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's" so to speak, it is easier to mold themselves around a new articulation of how to respect a human soul. But for the totalitarian teachings of mohammedanism, this is a much more difficult attainment.It has to be asked whether a mohammedan thinker can ever fully and without reservation embrace the concept of human rights, without rejecting some aspect of mohammedanism.And this I think is the key to understanding the relation between the free world and the mohammedan world.