Islamic Perspectives on Democracy
9 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2015
Date Written: December 3, 2014
On Islam and democracy, the controversy lies with the concept of sovereignty. Under liberal democracy, sovereignty is derived from the people; while in Islam God has the ultimate sovereignty. Muslim scholars have conflicting views on this topic. Conservatives like Sayyid Qutb believed that democracy is a Western institution which is inconsistent with Islam for it transgresses the absolute sovereignty of God. Seeing democracy as a Western concept with secular character led conservative Islamist thinkers to reject the idea of adopting a democratic system under an Islamic state. Those supporting a moderate view on the discourse like Yusuf al-Qaradawi argue that democracy allows Muslims to rule themselves according to their own beliefs and values in countries where they are majorities. In this essay, al-Qaradawi’s thoughts on Islam and democracy are explored to see whether democracy as a system of governance can contribute toward attaining the values of an Islamic social and political order.
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