Islam and Israel: no peace
A candid review of Islam and democracy reveals basic and insurmountable contradictions between Israel and any Islamic regime:
Islam v. democracy: freedom and equality
Freedom, including freedom of speech, forms one of the two cardinal principles of democracy. But Islam is strictly authoritarian. So Islamic media always work under state control.
Equality forms the other cardinal principle of democracy. Islam features a strict hierarchy. It has top-down leadership as a fundamental principle of its theology. Authority runs down from Allah to Muhammad and from Muhammad to the imam, the ruler of the regime.
Consent v. coercion
Democracy depends on the primacy of consent or persuasion. This adorns democratic societies with a certain easy-going-ness and civility. Not only do people readily sweep aside past grievances, but also political opponents can have friendships despite their differences. They resolve differences by mutual concessions, and agreements usually last.
In contrast, Islamic culture depends on the primacy of coercion. Agreements between rival factions do not really terminate animosities. Therefore such agreements do not last.
Democratic regimes, depending as they do on the primacy of consent, normally pursue peace. In contrast, because Islamic culture bases itself on the primacy of coercion, Islamic regimes normally pursue intimidation and conquest. Muslims hold jihad (holy war) as a basic principle. So we find Muslim violence throughout the world.
The individual and the group
Democracy also emphasizes the primacy of the individual. Islamic culture emphasizes the primacy of the group—either the village, or the extended family. The individual Muslim has no identity outside the group, and he owes the group all his loyalty. For this among other reasons, internecine conflict has been endemic among Muslims throughout history.
In contemporary democracy, individuals pursue their private interests and have diverse values or “lifestyles.” We don’t see that in Islam. Islam binds everyone to the set of substantive values in the Quran and in Islamic law (the shariah).
Living in present or past
Contemporary democracy inclines toward moral relativism. But Islam relies on absolutism. When moral relativism does not degenerate into moral reversal, contemporary democracy conduces to tolerance. Islam conduces to intolerance. Admittedly, Islamic regimes tolerate non-Islamic minorities, but only as dhimmis—virtual pariahs.
Democratic societies work and think in the present (the Now). Conversely, Islamic culture exists under the aspect of eternity. The past dominates Islamic mentality. So revenge for past injuries pervades the Islamic world as the dominant motif. With their group loyalty, Muslims bind themselves religiously to wreak vengeance against those who have slighted the honor of any Muslim.
The openness or publicity found in democracy stands in striking contrast to the hiddenness, secrecy, and dissimulation (taqiyya) characteristic of Islam. As one intellectually liberated Muslim sociologist writes about Arabs:
Lying is a widespread habit among the Arabs, and they have a low idea of truth.
Contemporary democracy has a mild secularism at its root. Islamic culture has a different root: a harsh religion. Even Arab leaders who do not practice Islam devoutly, identify with the basic goals of Islam. The radical separation of religion and politics found in democracy does not happen in Islam.
Democracy—before its corruption by skepticism—respects the Judeo-Christian concept of man’s creation in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). Islamic theology rejects that concept as blasphemous.
Democracy, consistent with Genesis 1:26, affirms the moral unity of mankind. But Islam reduces non-Muslims to apes and dogs.
Democracy—before its corruption by moral relativism—extols the primacy of reason. Islamic theology exalts the primacy of will. Hence the Taliban proclaims: “Throw reason to the dogs—it stinks of corruption.” The unqualified or absolute omnipotence which Islam attributes to Allah, drove that statement.
The preceding facts show that Islam and democracy are absolutely incompatible. So genuine peace between the “Palestinians” (i.e.) Muslims in the misnamed West Bank (i.e., Judea and Samaria) cannot happen. This reduces PM Netanyahu’s “two state solution” to mere rhetoric or intellectual dishonesty.☼