This is the type of things that make me feel really bad. Are really the Afghans and in general, the people of the Muslim countries prepared to know and to want democracy and human rights? Reading people as Sandmonkey (who has started a new blog outside blogger) or Freedom for Egytians or Eteraz -now one of my colleagues at IBA-, even if sometimes we don’t agree , I believe it. Because they recognise that the rest can have another ideas and opinions, and that is the base of democracy. I mean, only if you think that all people are equal, and as a result, can have an opinion just as valid as yours, democracy can function. If not, when you just position yourself above the rest, just judging as “commoners” all people that surrounds you and then thinking you above them all, the problems begin, and much more when that is not a personal problem BUT the problem of people who thinks of themselves as an elite. Precisely the equality in front of the law, the free press and the freedom of expression only were born in Europe when the classes, as compartimental groups which cannot be penetrated, dissappeared. The reason is obvious: if there are people in society which are above the rest, this people also cannot be critisized, and then the press cannot be free and the citizens cannot say freely what they think.
But when you see news like this -or the one that I just posted here only days ago about the Taliban’s justice-, I just doubt it. Because this people are only grounding their points of view in a religious book, and the religion, although lived in community with people of your same faith, is a personal election, and so cannot be elevated to the category of principle that should determine the aplicable law to a citizen.
I think Ronald Dworkin says it better than me, speaking about the Danish cartoons (HT: Pia Causa):
But religion must observe the principles of democracy, not the other way around. No religion can be permitted to legislate for everyone about what can or cannot be drawn any more than it can legislate about what may or may not be eaten. No one’s religious convictions can be thought to trump the freedom that makes democracy possible.”