Beliefnet
Progressive Revival

The New York Times reports that secularist parties gained in recent regional elections in Iraq. 

The relative success of the secular parties may be a sign that a significant number of Iraqis are disillusioned with the religious parties that have been in power but have done little to deliver needed services. Well-known incumbent parties also did well.

and

Several politicians said the strong showing by Mr. Allawi’s party was notable. “This really reflects that Iraqi society is looking for alternatives — they do not necessarily believe that the Islamists should lead the country,” said Qassim Daoud, a member of Parliament and one of the leaders of an independent, secular-leaning party. “The public are interested in services, and this election has shown them that they can change anything by democratic means if they are not satisfied,” he said. 

Secularism in American politics is likely to be the kiss of death.  But when secularism comes to Iraq we all breath a sigh of relief.   I don’t think this is just because it is Islam, rather it is because religon and politics were such a dangerouus combination in Iraq.  Perhaps this is a cautionary tale for the rest of the world.

 

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