Secularist Politics And The Incompatibility Of Theocracy And Politics

1772 Words 8 Pages
hat the world would be a better place if only secularist politics, were comprehensively instituted within political institutions. I will discuss this argument by looking at the issues that arise from theocracy in Iran, specifically the incompatibility of theocracy and democracy, and the issue of entrenching political policies in religious doctrines and what that means for change. I will then examine the different forms that secularism can take. Firstly, by examining the forced atheism of Soviet Russia, and the Judeo-Christian secularism of the United States of America, looking at how these forms of secularism do not fully overcome the issues presented in theocracy. Lastly I will examine laicite, looking particularly at France, and how through …show more content…
In the 1970’s, Iran had a popular sovereignty with an elected parliament and a president overseen by a faqih, an Islamic jurist, namely Khomein. Khomein was the supreme religious leader, and his authority was legitimized on the basis that he was "the only legitimate successor to the prophet and the imams”. However in 1980s, Khomein removed the elected head of state, placing total power in the clergy. This was followed by an attempt to fully enforce sharia law, which was met with dispute, as even within the clergy the particulars of sharia law are debated. This lead to Khomein announcing that the Islamic State had unconditional authority to make all decisions, not limited by Sacred Law. “A government in the form of a God given absolute mandate was the most important of the divine commandments”. In this way, Khomein undermined the foundation of theocracy, Islamic law and democracy, positioning himself as an absolute leader. The citizens of Iran were disregarded entirely when Khomeini placed authority solely in the unelected clergy and himself. Iran is a clear example of how religious legitimization of power can divert the track of democracy, and even lean towards a …show more content…
Undue control of the economy has lead to a lucrative underground economy, essentially stemming from a lack of adequate policies needed to regulate changing sociocultural lifestyles.

Iran exemplifies the perils of ruling by religion in that it is incompatible with democracy, can lead to centralized and unchecked power, and entrenches religious doctrines in policies in a way that can be detriment to society. Secularism, the separation of church and state, overcomes these issues.

Forced Atheism Secularism is the separation of the state from religious institutions, where the state remains neutral on matters of religion, allowing for freedom of religious belief. It is important to distinguish between secularism and what can be called “forced atheism” as seen in 1900’s Soviet Russia. A look into Soviet Russia’s “scientific atheism” shows how state enforcement of a defined belief is oppressive and dangerous, regardless of whether that belief is religious or

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