Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Road To Morocco

An Islamist Party did well in Morocco's elections.  Many see it as a harbinger for political results of the Arab Spring.  The power of Islamist parties, and how they'll effect goverments, is still very uncertain, especially since democracy is a process, not a single vote.  But it's understandable the West is concerned.

In general, the West believes in the separation of church and state--though it's expressed differently in different countries: some may ban certain religious attire while America (generally) protects it, and some European countries may even officially be Christian.  But all agree, one way or another, that citizens should be allowed to freely practice whatever religion they choose.  If newly elected governments in North Africa and the Middle East don't respect that, it'll be a human rights disaster.

And that's part of the bigger question.  There's democracy, and then there's basic human rights.  The two don't have to clash, but if the people democratically vote away the rights of the minority, would it be better not to have that democracy?  (Does it depend on what the alleged rights are?  Does it depend on how large the majority is?)

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