Islam and Democracy Essay example

955 Words May 26th, 2011 4 Pages
Throughout the twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first, a leading question arose regarding Islam and its traditions. This question asked whether Islam can be compatible with democracy. Seemed as a simple question, such an inquiry requires an in-depth look at the matter at hand. When one asks whether Islam is compatible with democracy, one needs to analyze the definition of democracy. According to Webster’s Dictionary, democracy is “a form of government in which supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or their elected agents under a free electoral system.” Such is the definition that mainly pertains to western democracy and western thought. What many tend to forget is that democracy should not be …show more content…
Many argue that Islam is not compatible with democracy, because an Islamic democratic system will eventually fail to the strict following of the Quran and the Sunna. However, such an assumption is false due to the fact that the Quran and the Sunna would only provide general principles and guidelines. Such can also be said about Christian nations who are democratic. For example examining the United States of America, there have been many presidents and legislators who have used the Christian faith as a guideline to implement policies. Therefore, the question one should ask is why is it wrong for a Muslim nation to implement democracy and use its holy book as a principle guideline. Also, in neither the Quran nor the Shura does Islam prescribe a specific system of government. This in turn makes it possible to incorporate any form of a political system, be it a socialist movement, communism, or democracy, etc.
When presented the notion that Islam can be compatible with democracy, many critics suggest that Islam is too fundamental for an organized structure which is required under a democratic system. To quell their criticism, one can point to the fundamental principles of the Islamic state. Firstly, choosing a ruler was the cornerstone in the organization of the Islamic State. Such a nomination was seen during the Golden Era…

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