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Reader comment on item: Debate: Islam and Democracy

Submitted by Karl Ericson (United States), Jul 17, 2003 at 11:43

Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini reported that during a synod that the Vatican held on October 1999 to discuss the rapports between Christians and Moslems, an eminent Islam scholar addressed the stunned audience declaring with placid effrontery: "By means of your democracy we shall invade you, by means of our religion we shall dominate you". (The Rage and The Pride, Oriana Fallaci p98)

Reza F. Safa, a Shiite Muslim who converted to Christianity after fleeing Iran and author of "Inside Islam: Exposing and Reaching the World of Islam." explained that:

The goal of Islam is to produce a theocracy with Allah as the ruler of society, a society with no separation between religion and the state. This society would have no democracy, no free will and no freedom of expression...

Islam to a Muslim is more than a religion, more than daily rituals. Islam is a way of living, thinking and reasoning.

Al-Nidaa, a website affiliated with Al-Qa'ida, recently published a series of articles about the war in Iraq. The eleventh(1) part of the series stated:(MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 498 5/2/03)

one of the greatest threats to the hegemony of Islam and the dominance of Shari'a [Islamic law] is the American secularism that will be imposed forcefully on the region... The Islamic world will change from dictatorship to democracy, which means sub-human degradation in all walks of life." The meaning, stated the article, of the term 'democracy,' is that people rule, instead of Allah.

Jamie Glazov in an article titled Why Islam Hates Democracy wrote:

In the eyes of Islam, the very notion of democracy is demonized. In Islam, after all, Allah is sovereign, which means that humans constructing their own laws is sinful. The Koran and Sharia Law give Muslims all the laws they need...

In Islam, democracy, as well as the very notion of the freedom of human conscience, represents a dangerous deviation from the Koran and the Sharia. Elections are seen as a form of blasphemy. They are Satan's vehicle to destroy the Koran

Abul A'la Mawdudi, founder of the Jamaat-i Islami in India, has argued that if democracy is conceived as a limited form of popular sovereignty, restricted and directed by God's law, there is no incompatibility with Islam, but Mawdudi concluded that Islam is the very antithesis of secular Western democracy based solely on the sovereignty of the people. (Quoted in Esposito and Piscatori, Democratization and Islam, p. 436. See also Abul A'la Mawdudi, A Political Theory of Islam, in, Donohue and John Esposito, eds. Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), pp. 253-54.) On the other hand, Sayyid Qutb, a leading traditionalist theoretician of the Muslim Brotherhood, executed by the Egyptian government in 1966, objected to the idea of popular sovereignty altogether: Qutb believed that "the Islamic state must be based on the Quranic principle of consultation or shurah [on the interpretation of Shari'a], and that the Islamic law or Shari'a is so complete a legal and moral system that no further legislation is possible or necessary." (Quoted in Hudson, "After the Gulf War," p. 436. For more on Qutb's views on Islam, see John L. Esposito, ed., Voices of Resurgent Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983))

Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech to the House Government Reform Committee on September 20, 2001, argued that Islamic hatred of democracy fuels hatred of the West. He explained:

The soldiers of militant Islam do not hate the West because of Israel, they hate Israel because of the West. They see it as an island of Western democratic values in a Muslim Arab sea.

These quotes were taken from Islam and Jihad http://www.primechoice.com/philosophy

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (69) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
2Are Islam and democracy incompatible. How about Islam and ethics? [377 words]PrashantApr 12, 2013 00:39205107
third largest democratic country [5 words]antarApr 11, 2013 07:20205084
Democracy/secularism [130 words]KateSep 4, 2010 19:54177685
See the Reality, Women is still a commodity in Islamic Country by and large. [80 words]Sardar Ravi Ranjan Singh 'Bharat Panthi'Jul 20, 2010 11:49175804
The need for foreign intervention - Islam's incompatibility with democratic principles [157 words]AlexMar 11, 2010 22:11169999
Caliph was elected [30 words]bary soetoroJan 11, 2010 18:02167193
Indonesia: The third democratic country in the world [34 words]barry soetoroMar 28, 2009 23:11152919
Five minutes before twelve [84 words]Listiani LestariFeb 3, 2011 18:56152919
indonesia [10 words]b soetoroFeb 6, 2011 07:42152919
1Islamic 'Democracy' under Sharia Law? OXYMORON [281 words]TheWayItIsJul 3, 2006 17:3848804
2Islam and democracy [1168 words]Guy Leven-Torres (Agricola)May 30, 2007 15:0248804
Christian fanatics lack moral authority to criticize Islam [409 words]J. GuzmanApr 6, 2011 21:0348804
Security for US more important than spreading democracy [325 words]Saleem SiddiquiFeb 21, 2006 19:2636882
JIHAD IN ISLAM [56 words]I.N.F.Dec 1, 2005 17:1129272
1Sharia: DOA in Ontario [254 words]Mark-Alan WhittleSep 16, 2005 09:1725897
pkk ist doof [80 words]Sep 3, 2005 19:4025456
Plz read well about Islam first [28 words]someoneFeb 28, 2004 17:2514020
Later [126 words]truthMay 4, 2006 07:3714020
very good [12 words]lelekDec 14, 2003 08:4812647
Correction for Mike Ramirez [46 words]A.A.Sep 12, 2003 16:3111231
The question is on democracy. [52 words]Al-Zhoheir HajimSep 5, 2003 01:1211037
No reform Muslims [117 words]Hank RothAug 21, 2003 22:5510715
4Freedom, equality, justice & human dignity in islam [229 words]A.A.Aug 11, 2003 12:0010504
this is islam [234 words]FADWAApr 26, 2006 06:4410504
2Islamic Vs. Western Human Rights [677 words]CanadianChrisSep 29, 2010 16:0110504
1the information is not based on truth [69 words]hawwaJun 5, 2011 09:3110504
Equality For All in Islam??? [147 words]Mike RamirezAug 5, 2003 10:1410447
9Why is a man allowed to have more than one wife in Islam? i.e. why is polygamy allowed in Islam? [1263 words]Mohammed Rizwan MemonNov 27, 2009 12:2310447
RE: Why is a man allowed to have more than one wife in Islam? i.e. why is polygamy allowed in Islam? [601 words]SoManyContradictionSoLittleTimeJul 30, 2010 21:0910447
1Just answer the question [116 words]rational thinkerFeb 15, 2014 18:0810447
equality for all [25 words]coolknOct 20, 2014 08:1510447
Understand first. [18 words]SalihuMay 12, 2017 03:5010447
Answer [49 words]Manish guptaAug 21, 2017 22:5910447
Islam-Double talk [155 words]hari iyerAug 1, 2003 11:5210385
Discrimination? [77 words]S.C.PandaJul 30, 2003 07:3310324
1Sharia Law and Turkey [131 words]M. LeviJul 28, 2003 23:1710286
3Sharia Law and Turkey [131 words]M. LeviJul 28, 2003 23:1410283
Mohammed 's rule by consent and consultation [77 words]N.K.Jul 28, 2003 10:5610275
1ISLAM, Terror "Ghulam Nabi" , The Prophet's truth [939 words]No-americanDec 13, 2007 10:1910275
The Enlightenment can be evil, too [97 words]Peter J. HerzJul 25, 2003 23:5010244
It's a matter of time [182 words]Tim EarlJul 25, 2003 09:5310237
2Dr. Khan's ignorance [101 words]A. A.Jul 24, 2003 14:0710214
conquest by the womb and sword [109 words]Y Brandstetter MDJul 24, 2003 08:3810198
Some important points [1515 words]Linas KondratasJul 24, 2003 05:0110191
Islam and Democracy [107 words]Nozrul HussainJul 23, 2003 18:1310185
3Muslim Women Prime Ministers [263 words]Peggy RapierJul 23, 2003 11:5410179
Tansu Ciller / Muslim Women Prime Ministers [99 words]Jan OOct 19, 2007 09:0510179
Female political leaders in Islam and in Muslim-majority countries [35 words]Dr. Fawzy SaadJul 27, 2011 11:2010179
Muqtedar! You are utterly WRONG! [231 words]Lakshmi NarayainJul 23, 2003 02:0510165
religion and democracy: can islam do it? [1285 words]Peter J. HerzJul 22, 2003 23:3810154
1Islam & democracy [874 words]SaankhyaJul 21, 2003 03:1010095
Islam is better than democracy and Muslim women have all the rights and freedom since 1400 yrs ago [176 words]Nur IbrahimFeb 16, 2011 10:4810095
A Leopard Can't Change Its Spots [126 words]James CartwellJul 20, 2003 11:2210093
Our is the best society? [149 words]JafetyJul 19, 2003 13:5410087
What is the real problem? [469 words]Dennis WheelerJul 18, 2003 22:3810086
PEW Report [119 words]Julian WassermanJul 18, 2003 17:5010085
Islam and Democracy [671 words]Vijay DandapaniJul 18, 2003 15:2410084
Dr. Muqtedar Khan [26 words]Dan GurtaJul 18, 2003 13:4710083
Islam itself [36 words]Regan HuffmanJul 18, 2003 13:1410082
Muqtedar Khan is wrong [118 words]Malolan CadambiJul 18, 2003 04:1310080
The real question [72 words]William PapkeJul 17, 2003 17:4710075
1Biblical criticism & the truth about stoning in Islam. [388 words]Richard BurdJul 17, 2003 17:4110074
Appreciaton for #1167 article [29 words]Mike HeibergJul 17, 2003 12:4610066
Khan misses several key points [222 words]Jane AdlerJul 17, 2003 12:3810065
Debate: Islam and Democracy [1434 words]Gabriele (Gila) KleinJul 17, 2003 12:0210064
Debate: Islam and Democracy [48 words]Mike RamirezJul 17, 2003 12:0210063
What others have said about this topic [601 words]Karl EricsonJul 17, 2003 11:4310061
Different perspectives [214 words]Kenneth BesigJul 17, 2003 11:2610059
Islam's "civil war" [43 words]Glenn KlotzJul 17, 2003 08:4310055

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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