Democracy Comes Before Religion

Agora has an English translation of an article by Paul Hojlund that appears today in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. It effectively argues that Freedom of Religion is only guaranteed if religion is practiced within the parameters of Democracy. This is also a concept radical Islam and its apologists refuse to acknowledge.

Here’s a portion:

Apparently a lot of people in high places in our Democracy have a hard time understanding the simple fact that Islam as traditionally interpreted is not compatible with Democracy. In a reversal of priorities, they are defending Islam’s Freedom of Oppression by referring to the Freedom of Religion. Some even manage to bring the immigration debate into play: distancing oneself from the lack of Freedom in Islam is the same as discrimination or even racism.

Why is diminished Freedom acceptable when Religion is involved? Did not the Boers of South Africa call apartheid part of their faith? The Ku Klux Klan maintain their right to lynch black people as part of their faith – are they suddenly sacrosanct? No. None can be allowed to justify violations of Human Rights by invoking ‘Religious Beliefs’…

Helle Thorning Schmidt said it succinctly: Democracy comes before Religion. That is necessarily the order of things in the part of the world that fancies itself Democratic. A prerequisite for Democracy is that all men and women have their spiritual freedom and the corresponding uncensored Freedom of Speech, answerable only to the courts; it presupposes that no power is above the Democratic power of the state and that all exercise of religion takes place within this framework.

Islam has, alone among the great religions of the world, a problem with these demands. Or to be more precise: These demands are incompatible with Islam in the current official version. This is not about racism or xenophobia, nor is it about offending beliefs or ridiculing Moslems. That is not what this is about – notwithstanding that one of the Moslems’ religious taboos has been broken. This is solely about Democracy and its prerequisite, Freedom of Speech.

This paragraph is of particular interest.

The Islamic world is not content with minding its own affairs; it wants for its religion to spread around the world and the means to do so is the demand for respect for Islam. But respect for Islam leads to submission since all criticism of Islam is the same as disrespect, which again means defaming the prophet. It’s hard to understand this for a non-Moslem because we live in the free world. But ask the Moslem dissidents; they know what the price is for transgressing against heavenly laws. Or consider those who are murdered for offending the beloved prophet. Or ask Naser Khader who has around-the-clock protection by the police.

Or ask Dr. Wafa Sultan, who feels the need to go into hiding to protect herself and her family after publicly criticizing radical Islam in a television interview. And she lives in the United States.

... and the walls came tumbling down
A brief history lesson of the Middle East


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