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Criticism of Democracy in Different Countries

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Muslims were pioneers of enlightenment in Europe, but they were certainly not following a system of governance through a popular choice (Lewis 62). Concepts of liberty and freedom were unknown during those days. Nonetheless, the Muslims at large chose to go against their own teachings of sorting out their affairs through consultation and were caught in the web of adopting the rules of the West (Lewis, 57). The reason for the criticism of democracy and secularism in Muslim countries, has often been described in some cases to be the influence of the fundamentalist approach of Islam. In fact, the very word “secular” is foreign to the political vocabulary of Islam and exists only in the modern Islamic languages as a term that is not entirely accepted (Lewis, 61). The people of the Islamic communities themselves are not ready to give into the separation of religious and government institutions and this in itself is a clear indication of why democracy cannot sustain itself in Islamic nations.

While Lewis does not completely agree to the compatibility between Islam and democracy, he does not deny the possibility either. That is to say that democracy can exist in Muslim countries provided that the style of governing works towards it rather than against it, and that the original Islamic faith and law are kept in higher priority (Lewis, 53). Like any other, Islam is not just a religion; rather is it an entire world within a world. It has its very own style of worship, beliefs and doctrines that make up a unique system based upon the Islam of the Qur’an and the hadith. An interesting thing that Lewis describes is that there is no notion of a citizen or citizenship either in languages such as Arabic or Turkish. There is no indication or id...

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...dged place as democratic states in the comity of nations. While it is possible for democracy to flourish within an Islamic state with the introduction of secularism and modernism, it cannot however be in perfect balance and equilibrium with the fundamental and traditional Islamic ideologies, as seen plenty of times throughout history.

Works Cited:

1. Black, Antony. "The Idea of Monarchy under the Umayyads and 'Abbasids." History Of Islamic Political Thought: From The Prophet To The Present. S.l.: Edinburgh UP, 2001. 18-19. Print.

2. Irfan Ahmad (2011). Democracy and Islam. Philosophy & Social Criticism, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp. 459 – 470.

3. Lewis, Bernard (1996). Islam and Liberal Democracy: A Historical Overview. Journal of Democracy, Volume 7, Issue 2, 52-63.

4. The Qur'an: Translation. Trans. Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Elmhurst: Tahrike,

2000.
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