This has to be one of the silliest, most ignorant questions the International Herald Tribune/New York Times has ever asked, if not the silliest and most ignorant.
Anyone who knows anything about Islam’s nature, essence, imperatives, history and reality (how it actually manifests itself in the world) knows that the answer is a clear unequivocal yes.
Anyone who isn’t an Islamist or an apologist for Islam that is.
Anyone who doesn’t have some sort of ulterior motive for fooling non-believers into thinking otherwise that is.
They also know that Islam is more than just an obstacle to democracy…they know that democracy is impossible under Islam and so are freedom, peace, secularism, pluralism and tolerance…they know that Islam and democracy, freedom, peace, secularism, pluralism and tolerance are totally incompatible and cannot coexist.
Democracy means that people have a choice, that people choose who governs them and for how long. Islam doesn’t give anyone any choice. It is a completely proscribed religion/belief system which requires total fealty to its teachings and requirements and governs every aspect of a persons life. Islamists (followers of Islam) are governed by Islam and have to live their lives according to its dictates, period. There is no place for democracy in Islam because it doesn’t permit people to choose how they are governed.
There is also no place for freedom in Islam. Acting outside its bounds, contravening its dictates, is absolutely forbidden. Islamists are simply not free to act outside of Islam’s boundaries, they have to act the way Islam requires them to. There is no freedom in Islam because Islamists cannot act as they see fit. Everything they do has to conform to Islam’s dictates which means that its followers have no freedom at all, including the freedom to question, reject or leave it. From birth to death, Islam controls every aspect of peoples lives and woe betide anyone who doesn’t conform. Freedom in Islam? There isn’t any.
Peace with non-believers is also impossible under Islam. The purpose of Islam is to force non-believers to submit to it and it has been trying to do exactly that since it came into existence 1,400 years ago. It is trying to do that all over the world even as we speak. Islam is supremacist and expansionist and peace can only come when everyone submits to it. According to Islam peace means everyone living an Islamic life under Islam and Islamists have to try and bring that about by whatever means possible until it becomes a reality. That’s what peace means under Islam…total conformity to Islam and an Islamic life by everyone. That is a very different notion of peace than the one we subscribe to and makes peace as we know it impossible between the free world and the Islamic world.
You can forget about secularism, pluralism and tolerance under Islam as well. Islam by definition and practice cannot abide any of these things, by definition and practice is the very antithesis of these things. That is why there is no such thing as an Islamic society or country that is secular, pluralistic or tolerant…that is why there has never been and never will be an Islamic society or country that is secular, pluralistic or tolerant. Islam doesn’t permit these things.
Yes, Islam is more than just an obstacle to democracy and to freedom, peace, secularism, pluralism and tolerance too, yes, all of them are impossible under Islam and yes, they are the antithesis of everything Islam is and everything it personifies and stands for.
What does all of this mean for free people living in free countries?
It means that Islam and Islamists are the enemies of democracy, freedom, peace, secularism, pluralism and tolerance and that democracy, freedom, peace, secularism, pluralism and tolerance are threatened and imperilled by Islam and Islamists wherever they may be…the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, everywhere.
It means that unless Islamists reject Islam democracy, freedom, peace, secularism, pluralism and tolerance will always be under attack and in danger.
It means that unless Islam is rejected free people in free countries have to be constantly vigilant and have to constantly fight to retain democracy, freedom, peace, secularism, pluralism and tolerance.
Is Islam an obstacle to democracy?
Like I said, a silly, ignorant question if ever there was one.