Thursday, September 27, 2007

Monk if you love freedom

from The Christian Science Monitor

Revered for self-sacrifice, Buddhist monks in Burma are standing up to the guns of a selfish regime. The protests also serve as a reminder of religion's historic role in shaping the kind of moral concern for others that is the root of democracy ... Not all religious movements lead to democracy. The ruthlessness of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the social power of the Wahhabi clergy in Saudi Arabia, and the claim to rule by Iran's clerics reveal a type of Islam that imposes religious values by dictate rather than by the kind of mutual respect that breeds democracy. In Iraq, Sunni fears of domination by the majority Shiites have stymied efforts to form a united, democratic government. But any democracy relies on the majority caring enough to have laws that protect minority interests. That way, the minority won't simply opt out of democracy. That's a value straight from the golden rule.

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