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Le Monde - France | Friday, September 21, 2012

Blind zeal only blocks democracy

The fact that a low-budget film on the Prophet Mohammed has sparked a wave of violence in so many Muslim countries testifies to a striking democracy deficit, the Morrocan author Tahar Ben Jelloun writes in the left-liberal daily Le Monde: "There are dead and wounded, fires, cries of hatred, incomprehension. In short we are seeing a desire for revenge that comes as a surprise only to those who refuse to see that certain Muslim states, rather than embracing modernity and cultivatinig democracy, encourage this passion that so preoccupies the people that it causes them to forget the most important goal: establishing a state of law and justice that favours the emergence of the individual. Because recognising the individual means breaking with the clan and granting the right to liberty, freedom of conscience and critical reflection. Something the Islamic states cannot tolerate."

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