Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Islam and Democracy

Twenty-five years ago I was on a 747 flying from Manila to Bangkok. Seated next to me was an attorney from Pakistan. In order to start a conversation I opened up with something like this, “What do the following countries have in common: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordon, Egypt, Libya Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco?” This was a leading question expecting him to answer, “Islam!” That was not his answer. With much vehemence he said, “They are all run by dictators.” Over the years I have meditated on his answer and have done a little bit of research.

Among the Shiites there is no separation between politics and theology. The descendants of Ali are the only rightful caliphs. The caliph has absolute political and theological power. He is appointed by God. He is not elected. Democracy is foreign to this form of Islam. Separation of church and state is not known.

No comments: