Is There a Rise of Radical Islam??

"Unlike radical Islam.. You will not kill to spread your faith, you will die to spread it." - Pastor John Piper.

This week Grove City College hosted a conference entitled, Mr Jefferson Goes to the Middle East. It was a fantastic conference with quite the lineup of speakers (just to name a few), Dr. Paul Kengor, Dr. Paul Marshall, Michael Novak and Daniel Pipes. As the title of the conference indicates the notion in question was democratic prospects is in the Middle East.

Lectures ranged from the effect of free markets, different interpretations of the Koran, the rise of the caliphate and a warning to neo conservatives.

A question that was raised several times throughout the pass two days was: Is there a rise of Radical Islam directly because of Democracy? Many men and women seemed to indicate and professed that they thought so. A possible example of this is in the past two weeks we saw a Christian man who for the better part of 2 decades was jailed and almost sentenced to death, only acquitted because he was found 'mentally ill.' This leads me to think more pessimisticly about whether or not democracy will work in the Middle East than I have been.

In both constitutions in the newly formed democracies of Afghanistan and Iraq, there is a simple clause submitting to Islamic law, being very careful not to contradict it. This brings up the question, does Islam allow for a democratic government? Many scholars these past two days said that Islam potentially provides a foundation for political freedom.