CAN ISLAM AND DEMOCRACYEVER SHACK UP TOGETHER?

From ABC NEWS:

An Egyptian court has upheld a six-year jail sentence for a Coptic Christian school teacher convicted of insulting Islam and the country's new Islamist president in postings on Facebook. The case is the second this month in which a Coptic Christian has been detained for posting material considered anti-Islamic on social networking sites.

Can a truly democratic, predominantly Muslim, state ever exist? I don't think it can. Turkey is probably the nation that has got nearest to achieving it but it has done so by severely restricting many freedoms that Western, secular democracies regard as sacrosanct. The problem is that Islam is a theocratic religion at its very core.

Of course, Christianity is quite capable of being just as theocratic. Christendom was no different politically to the Islamist theocracies of today. There are still plenty of powerful Christians who would love to see a return to "the good old days" when kings bowed down to religious leaders. In Russia, the Pussy Riot case is a case in point. The Pope is getting increasingly aggressive in his attempts to control the domestic politics of countries all over the world, including some of the most traditionally democratic. In the USA,"Bible believing" Christians spend a lot of their time and vast amounts of money trying to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else. But none of these attempts to usurp secular authority have any justification in scripture, at least, not in the New testament. In fact, "Give unto Caesar" is a central tenet of Christianity. Not so with Islam. The core texts of the Islamic faith insist on theocratic rule and the conversion of the world to Islam by any means, most definitely including conquest and the suppression and oppression of all other philosophies. For a muslim to give authority to anyone outside of the cult would be apostasy which is regarded as such a sin in Islam that it demands the death penalty as punishment.

Just as Christian leaders are capable of having theocratic aspirations there are Islamic leaders who have been less oppressive of other religions than their religion strictly allows. Ironically, one the best examples of an Islamic nation where other religions are allowed to exist without too much fear of persecution, is Syria. That Syria is not a democracy is, I fear, further proof of my contention that there can never be a democratic, Islamic nation.