Why do civilization oriented systems of governance not work? Faith based value systems work good at the micro scale, governing our existences from a mild variety on a social bonds orientation in secular democracies and western societies to arab monarchies which are based legally on theological grounding. Iran is a perfect case, as it was a middle eastern powerhouse under the Shah, pre 1979 revolution where even the secular middle class supported the Ayatollah in a counter movement to decadence of the secular regime of the Shah. There is a common strand between the two- the pre and post dispensations in Tehran are one party regimes, dictatorial at its least. Ahemadinejad is a bad administrator but a shrewd politician who rallies the masses on anti zionist rhetoric and its famed (infamous) nuclear program. Iran is a resource rent based state, enormous gas and oil reserves which support the infrastructure of Shia imperialism from Gaza, Beirut to Manama. The Arab monarchies, suffering in the heat of the Arab spring are buffering themselves by the cash ions against acidic reform demonstrators. Money talks, but for how long is the important question. These are the most stringent theocracies in the globe, are case studies of the resource curse syndrome as governance is not really their forte.
Israel and Pakistan were the two states formed in the late 1940’s on the basis of religion. Israel is a technological powerhouse and on the other hand Pakistan is on the edge of being declared a failed state. Some ingredients for governance are universal, whether secular or religious; human developmental indicators are the stuff that the G8 are made up off. Turkey and Malaysia are good examples. Sudan invoked religious & martial law in the 1980’s, instead on developing roads and twenty years later they are splitting into half. People matter, whether black or white does not make a difference.