As I have grown older, I have come to distrust organized religion. It isn't the gods, or the ceremonies or the view of the afterlife that have bugged me. It is that word; "Organized".
Why do religions have to be organized? I can see having a shaman, or a priest, or a spiritual leader like a Rabi, but since when do people of the same faith have to come together to 'knock heads' so that other folks can see the one true way? All these folks claim to support peace and harmony, but all through the centuries, they just seem to keep racking up one hell of a body count.
I ran across this little presentation on the web recently, and it compliments this thought pretty well. We think of the Middle East as some place where we can walk in, throw out the bad dudes, and install a government to the peoples liking and everything will be hunky-dory. Only problem is, we don't really understand the mindset of the folks that live there. This isn't south Jersey. It is a battlefield that has been fought over for the past 3000 years. They see history in millennia, not in centuries. They see struggle over dozens of generations and not just the loss of their last son or daughter. We see the instant fix, they see the eternal struggle. Their concept of organized religion is a bit different than ours.
Imagine living in Baghdad and growing up knowing that your city has been over run by invaders for centuries. We aren't the first and certainly won't be the last.
The thought of giving 'democracy' to these people is somewhat humorous. It is like giving a big lollypop to a starving Darfur infant. It is a nice gesture, but it won't save their life. It will only give them a sugar buzz and diabetes.