The modern Arab world portrays most of its intellectuals as clerics, thinkers, and imams that emerge from the heart of Islamic values. Radical Islam does not regularly cultivate free thinkers who are willing to dare the fires of Islamic Inquisition. As a result, the possibility of the coming to being of an Islam state that has transitioned from hierarchical religious authoritarianism to a secularized or modern type of Islamic democracy is difficult. This premise is strengthened by the notion that Islam, more than most monotheistic religions, encompasses every facet of social life. In specific, Islam is innately inconsistent with the division of the state and the church. Nevertheless, recent developments have revealed that Islam states are gradually moving toward a path of democracy. A case in point is Turkey, which offered an excellent illustration of Muslim leaders who were interested in promoting the rights of women after ascending to power. The following discussion reveals why Islam and democracy can coexist.
Islam and democracy are a good fit. Different scholars have spent a substantial period deliberating and studying about the coupling of Islam and democracy. These individuals believe that a good fit between democracy and Islam exists. Studies indicate that Islam is a set of standards and ideals that highlight the parity of people, the answerability of leaders to their followers, and the admiration of diversity and different faiths. Accordingly, he presumes that these ideas are entirely compatible with the underpinnings of democracy. In fact, Mustafa Akyol states that he does not see how Islam can be associated with a type of administration that takes away the values that democracy promotes. However, some individuals presume that the reason why democracy is unacceptable in the Muslim nations is due to the reality that it can be associated with the ideals that the western countries support.
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Throughout the Islamic world, the majority of the individuals that paint Islam and democracy as incompatible are interested in spearheading an anti-American campaign. Thomas Friedman affirms that the ideas of most of the persons that reject the concept of democracy in the Muslim nations are based on the anti-U.S. and anti-West emotions. Friedman asserts that some of the individuals who indicate that democracy is incompatible with Islam express a logic that the concept ‘democracy’ is entirely possessed by the West. Thomas proceeds to suggest that democracy has a connotation of cultural imperialism. He indicates that if one speaks about representative administration without mentioning the inefficiencies of these types of establishments (in the U.S.), a lot of Muslims feel that such a system of government is relatively practical. Muslims also accept the idea that citizenry participating in government activities is good for everyone.
Although the ideals that democracy promotes are acceptable, some groups of people hold the position that a representative form of government cannot be associated with Islam. Engineer contends that a minority group that does not concur with the notion that democracy is a desirable form of government exists. Ali states that people who hold up the thought that Islam ought to be an emirate subsists. This group contends that a ruler should always hold power; Friedman says that there are individuals that believe that autocracy is inherent in the Muslim structure, and some of these persons believe in violence while others shun aggression. Moreover, Friedman contends that the traditional Muslim communities had more representatives than their contemporary counterparts since the central state was not as influential as it was supposed to be. Thomas argues that the Muslim society was one where people were free to express their ideas. In these regimes, the central government primarily focused on issues such as law and order. There was also a lot of freedom for people to discuss a lot of the rules and norms that subsisted in their communities. Such systems reveal the even though Muslim countries are primarily autocratic, some provisions allow for the creation of a government that gives the power to people control the running of their countries’ administrations.
With the above presumptions considered, one can confidently assert that democracy (as a form of government) may differ from one country to another. Allowing different parties to structure and run administrations has been a problem in most democracies. For instance, in the U.S., some people were barred from accessing the New York legislature because of their communist ideals. Some Muslim governments have solved this problem by instituting a mix of central authority and self-government. In some Islamic nations, a robust dictatorial figure that rests on top to make sure that not a lot of changes are made exists. Some individuals argue that this kind of administration is ideal because it keeps the lawmakers in check and prevents them from going rogue.
In a recap of the above discussion, Islam and democracy can coexist id various factors are considered. Recent developments indicate that Islam states can move from an autocratic system of government to a somewhat democratic type of government. For instance, Saudi Arabia has announced that elections for municipal council seats will start being conducted. Also, a country like Yemen has adopted a system of administration that may be likened to democracy, where a leader has the authority to prevent the legislature from acting unfavorably. Ideally, the modern Arab world depicts its intellectuals as thinkers, clerics, and imams who surface from the heart of Islamic values. As a consequence, the development of an Islam state that implements a modern type of Islamic democracy is not easy because Islam encompasses every facet of social life. Nevertheless, the Islamic nations can institute a representative government that is customized to include the values and ideas of Muslims, as discussed above.
- Engineer, Asghar Ali. “Is Islam Compatible With Democracy And Modernity? | Yaleglobal Online”. Yaleglobal.Yale.Edu. Last modified 2003. Accessed December 6, 2017. https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/islam-compatible-democracy-and-modernity.
- Friedman, Thomas. “Opinion | Look In Your Mirror.” Nytimes.Com. Last modified 2017. Accessed December 6, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/opinion/friedman-look-in-your-mirror.html?ref=thomaslfriedman.
- Handwerk, Brian. “Can Islam And Democracy Coexist?”. News.Nationalgeographic.Com. Last modified 2003. Accessed December 6, 2017. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/10/1021_031021_islamicdemocracy.html.
- “Uneasy Companions.” The Economist. Last modified 2011. Accessed December 6, 2017. http://www.economist.com/node/21525410.
- “Islam And Liberty: Mustafa Akyol At Tedxwarwick.” Youtube. Last modified 2011. Accessed December 6, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk6-TWX-jk0.