Islam and Democracy

2642 Words11 Pages
Democracy, being a well-known system of government run by elected members of parliament, has been recognized by the most powerful countries as being one of the most liberating methods of overseeing a country. This system is said to comprise social, cultural, racial, and religious equality, leading to a free and impartial form of government. While conveying the message of equality in terms of all religious backgrounds, various individuals still believe that Islam cannot be compatible with democracy. Many people believe that the religious element subdues the governmental approach that democracy addresses, however this type of thinking is incorrect. Islam preaches various elements that are quite similar to the platform from which democracy has developed, and to support this claim, Irfan Ahmad and Bernard Lewis have written about this argument encompassing ideas of great importance. In the texts, A Historical Overview written by Bernard Lewis, and Democracy and Islam by Irfan Ahmad, both authors discuss the debate of whether Islam and democracy are compatible. This topic is worth investigating for multiple reasons, one of which is that the world’s population constitutes a large percentage of Muslims who now affect major political affairs on a global scale. By analyzing both articles, a conclusion can then be derived to answer this provocative question. By exploring various subtopics presented in each article, the compatibility paradigm can be justified. In doing so, I will address the democratic and Islamic conceptual overlap, the difference in matters of perspective with regards to philosophy, and democracy as seen in the world today, specifically, how it continues to impact the Muslim community. While both articles exhibit the com... ... middle of paper ... ...ocracy are compatible with each other. Both Ahmad and Lewis emphasize the endless possibilities awaiting the Muslims if they were to adopt this system of government. If the Muslims of this generation are able to accept the true, fair nature of democracy, then many of the Islamic countries facing destruction, poverty, crime, and fraud can resurface with a new identity. However, one must keep in mind that a system of government is never stable or trustworthy until the people running that system are. If this can be done in an impartial manner, then the Islamic and democratic parts of the world can unite for the betterment of both individual countries and the world as a whole. Works Cited 1. Ahmad, Irfan. "Democracy and Islam." Philosophy & Social Criticism 37.4 (2011): 459-70. 2. Lewis, Bernard. "A Historical Overview. " Journal of Democracy 7.2 (1996): 52-63.
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