The true meaning of Democracy.

Many nations consider themselves democratic. In fact, as you can see from the photo above, only two nations, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar do not consider themselves democratic. The truth of the matter is very much different though....

In this map you can see the truth of the matter. The lighter the colour of the country the more democratic it is.

Firstly we have to consider the question What is Democracy? According to the Greeks who came up with the word it means rule by the people. However, this should be contrasted from Majoritarianism which is also a form of people backed rule.

According to Majoritarianism, the majority choose and everybody has to acquiesce to their decisions no matter how bad it may be to a particular group.

There are several varieties of democracy some of which provide better representation and more freedoms for their citizens than others. However, if any democracy is not carefully legislated to avoid an uneven distribution of political power with balances such as the separation of powers, then a branch of the system of rule is able to accumulate power in a way that is harmful to democracy itself. The "majority rule" is often described as a characteristic feature of democracy, but without responsible government it is possible for the rights of a minority to be abused by the "tyranny of the majority".

That is what's happening in Malaysia today. To the proponents of hudud law, this is what I have to say to you. Pay attention closely.

A) Democracy is not about majoritarianism. It is about doing what is best for the majority while not infringing on the rights of the minority which is normally protected by the constitution.

B) Okay, the majority of the people want an "Islamic legal system" to be implemented for them. We'll take this at face value. (Although I suppose you should conduct a nationwide referendum just to check before going on such an endeavour). What about all the individuals who don't want their arms chopped off? Don't they have rights? Or are their rights non-existent because the majority deems it so? Their rights are consigned to oblivion just because 51% of the population thinks that it is irrelevant?

The fact remains that government should play no part in policing morality or religion. Both are personal matters between you and your preferred God. (Whether or not this God exists is a matter for another day.) How would one police hudud law then? If a Muslim and a non-Muslim robbed a store together what then? One trial for the Muslim and one for the non-Muslim? One would spend three years in jail and one would lose a hand? Whatever happened to equality before the law? Is it really your job to enforce your God's word? Who appointed you to be the defender of your God's law?

One of the cornerstones of the democratic system is that every human being is equal. Each person is born equal and throughout his or her life is to be treated as an equal. Is it not religious apartheid to punish one individual more severely than another for committing the same crime?

Until 1989 a white man arrested for petty theft could spend up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine of 100,000 Rand in South Africa. A black man arrested for the same crime could anticipate a MANDATORY 15-year sentence and/or fine up to 500,000 Rand.

Sounds like this is what you pro-hudud people are advocating.

There is no space for religious discrimination in an multicultural, plural society. You would do well to understand this PAS.