Which Came First: Islam, or Repression?

Frederic L. Pryor has conducted a study that seems to show that "in all but the poorest countries, Islam is associated with fewer political rights." The abstract of the study can be found at the Middle East Quarterly.

Note that Pryor does not say that Islam causes a lack of political rights, but is associated with it. This makes it a chicken-or-egg question: is there a lack of political rights in these countries because of Islam, or does Islam find a foothold in such nations because of that nation's geography and history?

I remain unconvinced that Islam and democracy are incompatible, and Pryor even points to several democratic nations that are both Muslim and poor, such as Bangladesh and Mali. For those of you who want to argue the incompatibtility of Islam and democracy, I am not sure this study helps you much.

2 comments:

Zsa Zsa said...

Isn't the definition of Islam repression? They are into that kind of thing...

Bigfoot said...

It seems that in Turkey, Indonesia and Bangla Desh, islam and democracy are able to co-exist, although Turkey and Indonesia have their extremists.

I've heard argument that islam and democracy are incompatible, and I've realized that this could be used as a reason for the West to stop accepting muslim immigrants. If democracy and islam are incompatible, then that should be true no matter where they both exist, whether it's the Middle East, the West, or somewhere else.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am NOT recommending that the West stop accepting muslim immigrants, only that the alleged incompatibility of islam and democracy COULD hypothetically be used to stop islamic immigration to the West.