Monday, July 28, 2008

Dispatch from the Taliban Nation

In a bit of belated reading, I came across a March 6, 2008, item from Do Muslims Want Democracy and Theocracy? is an excerpt from the book Who Speaks for Islam?
The book is the product of a mammoth six-year study in which the Gallup Organization conducted tens of thousands of hour-long, face-to-face interviews with residents of more than 35 predominantly Muslim nations — urban and rural, young and old, men and women, educated and illiterate. It asks the questions everyone is curious about: Why is the Muslim world so anti-American? Who are the extremists? Is democracy something Muslims really want? What do Muslim women want? The answers to these and other pertinent, provocative questions are provided not by experts, extremists, or talking heads, but by empirical evidence — the voices of a billion Muslims.

So, when asked about democracy, most Muslims want a democracy, but one based upon Sharia, which is a code of law based on the Koran.

In only a few countries, such as Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, do the majority want Sharia to be the only source of legislation.

Interestingly, a 2006 Gallup Poll in the US finds that a majority of Americans want the Bible as a source of legislation.

  • Forty-six percent of Americans say that the Bible should be "a" source, and 9% believe it should be the "only" source of legislation.
  • Perhaps even more surprising, 42% of Americans want religious leaders to have a direct role in writing a constitution, while 55% want them to play no role at all. These numbers are almost identical to those in Iran.
Welcome to the Taliban Nation. Leave your sandals at the door.

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