After Saddam Hussein, his two sons and the Republican Guard had their butts handed to them, the United States launched the second phase of its offensive: bringing democracy to Iraq. It has been a long and frustrating struggle, and for good reason. The only true democracy in the Middle East is Israel, and it is no coincidence that it is the only non-Muslim nation in that region. Why should religion be a factor? Because in order for a democracy and free market system to take root and flourish, there must exist two prerequisites: a belief in the sanctity of the individual; and the rule of law. Islam embraces neither of these.
Islam is a religion that repudiates human intellect and free will. The concept of the sovereignty of the individual is totally lacking in Shia law.One's needs and desires are subordinated to the religious collective. A primary example is the treatment of women. Are they free to fulfill their lives? They are not even free to show their faces in public. In some Muslim nations, they are not allowed to drive, and are permitted to work only as teachers and nurses. During the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan,young girls were not even allowed to attend school. Religious police prowl the streets in search of the most trivial violations of Islamic law. Violations are met with swift and cruel punishment.
If you doubt the anti-intellectual charges agains Islam, then ask yourself these questions: Where are their renowned institutions of higher learning?Where are their major hospitals and medical research centers? What scientific and technological breakthroughs have they spearheaded? Other than oil, what other major industry thrives in the Middle East? And speaking of oil, it is Western technology and engineers that keep the oil flowing.
The reason for the dearth of intellectual progress and accomplishment is because the Islamic religion is mired in superstitious dogma authored over a thousand years ago. Note that despite the enormous wealth derived from oil, most of the populace live a lifestyle only marginally improved from their brethren centuries ago. And as for the rule of law, there can be none wherever tribalism is the primary means of social order. Throughout the region, violence between Shiite, Sunni and Kurd has existed for centuries, as warlords seek to broaden their power and control. Tribalism rules by brute force, and freedom is the first casuality. Regardless of how much money or how many troops we send to Iraq, there can be no democracy until the shackles of superstition are broken. Only the values of reason and rational thought can bring peace and democracy to that country.