Ever since the Iranian election, there is one issue that’s cropped up again and again in your discussions on Iran. Does democracy have to be secular to work? On yesterday’s show, Maggie commented that democracy doesn’t work unless politics and religion are separated. SouthAsian believes that what’s happened in Iran crushes the idea that religion and democracy can ever be compatible. And this blogger believes that Iran has a dictator hiding in the shroud of religion. Can you ever be a true demcracy if religion rules?
“Today there are two Irans. One is prepared to support Khamenei’s bid to transform the republic into an emirate in the service of the Islamic cause. Then there is a second Iran – one that wishes to cease to be a cause and yearns to be an ordinary nation,” comments Amir Taheri.
This blogger says that what’s happened in Iran has reminded us that there can be no freedom without a secular government . “Not a theocracy, but a thugocracy” agrees Bruce Walker. If you live in a nation with religious rule, how free do you feel? In Iran, Islamic theologians have an overarching hold on government, here’s a breakdown on power sharing in the country. What’s the point in an election if one man has the ultimate say?
Elsewhere in the world, the Dalai Lama has encouraged Tibetans in exile to embrace the democratic system of electing a leader, saying that his “job is too much for one man” . His video speech to hundreds of monks, nuns and the Dharamsala community highlighted the pressure he has felt being both a political and spiritual leader. His comments could close the door on a ritual that has lasted almost 500 years. The Dalai wants to be the last “boy king” . Should Iran accept that the two do not always work, as the Dalai Lama has? Would religion be more effective playing a background role as we are seeing in Iraq?