Islam can be said to be a religion which is monotheistic which has the characteristics of the acceptance of God’s doctrines and also accepting Muhammad as the last of God’s prophets. The definition that is adopted is that it is abiding to the Quaran and Prophet Muhammad.
Justice is one of the names of Allah and also one of its attributes. There cannot be said to be injustice and brutality in Islam as it has been argued by many scholars. Justice is one of the concepts which have been advocated in Islam. The Quran has been seen to advocate for justice for all people. The words of French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville over a century ago that Islam is not compatible with democracy and that conflict between Islamic nations and the West are inevitable presented a debate as to the validity of the statement. Scholars have differed on which side to take considering the terrorist attacks and the Arab uprising that have been witnessed in the Middle East and Africa. The most difficult question is the compatibility of the so called Islamic values with democratic ideals that value the concept of individualism and weak governments. The debate has been exacerbated by the integration of Islamic and Asian values regarding democracy. Is Islam compatible with democracy in the context of Asian culture? This has been the central question in books and essays with scholars revolving around seeking to address the relationships and correlation between the two parameters. Most of the published books interrogate the relationship between Islam, Muslims and democratization in the Asian and African states.
Religion and politics have played a major role in the lives of the people. Dating back from the times of Napoleon and the middle Ages in Europe, the two ideologies have evidently pulled the society in different directions. However in recent times starting from the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, religion has made inroads into the sphere of modern politics. Revival of religion as a socio-political force has not yielded satisfactory results; tragic and painful results such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda atrocities in Muslim countries and Americas follies in Iraq and Afghanistan due to emergence of policies supported by religious motivated neo-conservatives all in the name of upholding or oppressing democracy.
This study will be based on the theories that have been developed by Sen and Amartya (1999) about democracy. I strongly believe that democracy is a universal value that should be sought by every nation. Democracy is common in all countries and it should not be different. This paper will also be based on the theories by Fuller (2008) where he argues that Islam is the challenge and stumbling block to the attainment of democracy in the Arab countries. The doctrines and principles that are practiced by this religion are sometimes seen to be contributing to the failure of these countries to attain democracy. I also liked what Hunter argues that democracy will bind the Arab countries and will enhance the attainment of democracy.
There is freedom of speech so long as it does not go against the Islam religion. Islam does not go against freedom of speech. There should be responsibility associated with this aspect of freedom. It has been argued that there is obedience to humans if there is disobedience that is seen to God. This is something that should be developed and argued well.
If all the Islam countries stand and make use of Islam Sharia law, then they will attain better democracy that is not only good for citizens but that which is based on Islam moral principles. This will be justice which is something that is better and fair to all. It is something that is being desired by many nations. Many countries lack justice and yet there is democracy.
All this atrocities cannot be purely attributed to Islamic beliefs and the dominance of their dictator leaders who are hell-bend to control or limit the spread of democracy. Spain and Portugal for instance experienced the worst dictatorship until mid-1970s. The same can be said about Russia and Latin America. Democracy and freedom of speech can only prevail as long as it is not against religion-Islam for that matter. Today the U.S inversion of Afghanistan motivated by the rise of religious fundamentalism and the need to restore democracy would be no more welcome to Afghanis if they were Christian. The Hadiths of Prophet elaborate the fact that there is no obedience to fellow human beings if nonexistent for the creator. Islam has evidently played the role of unifying factor as a global universal religion and has created the spread of civilization in the countries that share common philosophies, art and history. Islam’s hate for modernity and democracy are untrue. Instead the change and the quest in search of democracy in East Africa can be credited to what Schneider Darl and Schmitter called society breakdown as a result of lack of harmonious coexistence between the government and religion giving way for authoritarian leadership. The argument is that democracy can come down and be reduced to a form of dictatorship. Although this is the case, it is clear that breakdowns are hard to be witnessed in advanced democracies. Democracies are bound to happen and take place in small countries which undergo a lot of depression and crisis.
There are hypotheses that will be developed and proved in this paper. They are stated in the sections that follow.
- Democracy is hard to be attained and achieved in the Arab countries because of religion
- Islam religion discourages universal togetherness
The hypothesis will not be tested in the study. In case I will want to test the hypothesis, I will do so by formulating a testing plan. I will sample the data and come up with a significance level. This will help me to get the sample data significance level where I will formulate my tests. After this, I will use a sample method, which consists of a sampling distribution and sampling data where I will analyze the data and arrive at the validity of the hypothesis.
We desire to develop a hypothesis to test whether Islamic religion and democracy share any relation at all. In the first scenario, we attribute to investigate how the world especially the Middle East would be were it not an Islamic- or a Christian community for that matter. What if there was no Islam in the world, would there have been no rivalries whose war tribulations dominate the geopolitical landscape? Would there have been equality between the way men and women are treated in the political and national levels of government? Islam has been touted as the vehicle of resistance but Marxism was no better. Leopold II, Hitler, Mussolini and others lead secular regimes that were not democratic. People resisting foreign oppression seek alternative banners to glorify their struggle to attain justice. Justice is one of the names and attributes of Allah and it forms the cornerstone of Islamic religion. If justice is the foundation of all things in the Islamic context then it is paramount to conclude that democracy is not necessary.
(Bayat (2007) argues that there are a set of norms and policies that have been set in Islam that strives to achieve equality of people, and accountability of leaders in the society. The author also argues that the there should be peaceful co-existence of other religions with that of Islam. I don't see how it could be compatible with a government that would take away those values.” In order for democracy to be completely nurtured in a society, it should be aimed at serving the people and deliver the common good. Through respect of human values and religion, leaders put away selfish interest and take the calling of the Allah to serve them. According to
“It should be known that the bay'ah is a contract to render obedience. It is as though the person who renders the oath of allegiance made a contract with his amir, to the effect that he surrenders supervision of his own affairs and those of the Muslims to him and that he will not contest his authority in any of (those affairs) and that he will obey him by (executing) all the duties with which he might be charged, whether agreeable or disagreeable.’’
It therefore means that leaders enter into total obedience with Khalifah and God to service and through honest consciousness lead to the realization of common responsibilities and objectives in society. This is changing as the policies and the decrees that are set in Islam are being aligned to meet the requirements of current governments. There is the emphasis on total obedience to God. This is a form that will bring democracy. This is so because of the fact that obedience is universal. It brings and binds people together so that the attainment of democracy is real.
Several theories have emerged advocating for autocracy and democracy in Muslim worlds in equal measure. But the fundamental composition of the Muslim society has been one where communities control their own affairs and values. Decentralization of power meant that the central government took care of issues of law and security and as long as the societal fabric was intact- no oppressive leaders, there was a lot of liberty for people to negotiate their own laws and values and as such democracy would be nonexistent. The proliferation of western power and post-colonial experiences bolstered by oppressive regimes is the possible recipe for anti-democratic calls by entities such as Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Islamic society has not been a favorable ground for the seeds of society.
The influence of western culture and the impacts of extremist have lead to radical laws that are in contravention with advents of democratic regimes. As such the society has risen to fight against the injustices and as noted democracy is not build without ordinary participation of the people. External forces might bolster to exert pressure to authoritarian regimes but the ultimate goal rest with the people. The integration of cultural practices into the Islamic religion to build a balanced combination of self-government and central authority is achieved. This is evident in most Islam governments including Turkey and Iraq. Turkey employs both the parliamentary and the secular democracy. Iraq is the current case study of evolving democracy after the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein. It is a theocratic republic a better democratic movement than before. In this way we can be able to conclude that the comparability of democracy and Islam chiefly depends on the strategy used. Different cultures have differs ways of building their own democracy. Islamic democracy cannot be equated with the American democracy. The more the West forces themselves into the Arab states the more the integration of western cultures and emergency democracy arises. Radicalism and extremist groups in their attempt to become relevant will continue the authoritarian rule which in effect will affect the growth of democracy.
Islam has a broad definition. It is referred as a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad. In a simplicity form, it refers to the worshipping of Allah without attributing anything equal to Him. It conveys all teachings of the prophets contained in the Holy Books. Those confessing to the Islamic religion are referred to as Muslims. The body of believers extends to all nations and countries, their civilization and way of life.
Democratic religious pluralism lived in traditional Islamic laws as the spiritual courts derived the interpretation of the rules. In this context argues that it is fully compatible with democracy. Both the state and religion fused in an amicable manner without contradiction in the eyes of Allah. Both Quran and Sunnah appreciate the fact that Muslims can preserve the spiritual and self-rule independently without conflict. In fact, democratic Muslims advocates for a democratic or despotism way. On the contrary, counter arguments predispose that democracy in itself is a static system which cannot be integrated in certain types of social and cultural system such as the Islamic way of life an analyst of the Arab uprising notes that whatever their doubts that most of the democratized Muslims who claim that they are ready to live peacefully with the other religions should be encouraged and supported to do so. They should be encouraged to play this game in the main politics. This will encourage the achievement and attainment of democracy. Thus democracy and Islam are compatible or not depending on the viewpoint taken.
Democracy has been argued to be the attainment of justice and democratic space. Islam has been said to be a stublisng block that affects the attainment of democracy in Arab countries. The lack of democracy in most Arab countries has been associated with the Islam religion. This is not the case. If justice be practiced and followed to the latter in all its undertakings, then there is a possibility of getting democracy in Arab countries. Islam has good doctrines like other religions. This should not be an issue in this regard.
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