Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Islam and democracy

Regular readers of Rational Islam? will know the background to the genesis of this blog: a close friend converted to Islam in his late twenties and promptly declared that among other things:
i. evolution was a lie
ii. Adam and Eve were the first humans
iii. the ancients lived to hundreds of years old
iv.desert sprites called jinn actually exist
v. the Qur'an contained miraculous scientific miracles which prove its divinity.

Each of the above in its own way is worrying to hear from an intelligent, educated man who, prior to his conversion, was as intellectually curious an individual you could hope to meet.
But perhaps the most disturbing of all his new dogmas was his new view of democracy.
He was now, he explained, against a state body that arrogates for itself the right to decide what is permissible and what is not permissible, "because that is the right of God alone". He further maintained that knowledgeable Muslims of all allegiances should know that an Islamic state should be run on Islamic principles, not democratic ones.

I find this the most disturbing because, let's face it, if my mate or 2 billion other individuals want to believe in fairy tales then that's sad and a waste of intellectual capacity on a truly planetary scale, but ultimately it's not going to affect the rest of us in the short term. But if an intelligent and level-headed individual can suddenly reject the basic principles upon which all free societies are based because his religion tells him to, is it irrational to fear that this disparaging view of democracy is held by the majority of Muslims?
Is it irrational to fear that the Islamic desire for a society governed by their God is a threat to those of us who don't share their beliefs and who cherish the right to determine our own future?
Or put another way, as Hizb ut-Tahrir have it in their manifesto:  is an ideology which maintains
 the rule of people, for the people, by the people -the basis of the democratic system is to be rejected because it is laid down by man and it is not from the God.
one with which we ought to feel entirely comfortable?

I'm just asking...

Because those Muslims who live in democracies and who espouse such anti-democratic beliefs are presumably looking forward to the day when they can (using the democratic process) bring about an Islamic state.

And of course, we shouldn't forget that once an Islamic state has been established, no-one will be allowed to work to bring back democracy - for Allah is a jealous god and has told us that those who work to undermine the caliphate must be crucified (or have alternate hands and feet amputated) (5:33)


  1. A gift is now delivered and proven to the whole world as a witness. Satan has deceived the whole world until the woman of Rev 12 delivers the true word of God. This woman is not a church, nor Mary, nor Israel, she is the prophet like unto Moses raised up of her brethren given the power of Elijah Matt 17:3, Acts 3:21-23, Luke 1:17 to restore the true word John 1:1 from the wilderness Rev 12:6 to prepare a people. God our true Father will not put any child of his into a hell fire no matter what their sins, no matter if they repent in this life or not. It never entered the heart or mind of God to ever do such a thing Jer7:31, Jer 19:5. Turn your heart to the children of God. Begin here http://minigoodtale.wordpress.com. The proof is in the hearing; prove all things, God chose a woman.

  2. Not entirely sure what you're talking about Val, but good to have you along for the ride anyway.

  3. Hi Spinoza,
    That your friend has such a low opinion of democracy is unfortunate. But I don't think democracy is against islam. Isn't following the Ijma' (the consensus of the Ummah) an Islamic doctrine anyway? Definitely a person can be Muslim and uphold democracy.

  4. There is evidence of democracy in Islam - for example, after the death of Mohammed, there were two groups who had differing opinions over who should be the leader. The decision was made via a vote, with the majority deciding. In my opinion, that's democracy.

  5. Actually there has always been democracy in Islam. Even when the Prophet Muhammed SAW was receiving revelations, Allah SWT told him to consult with his companions on various issues as it was the best style of leadership.

    After the Prophet SAW passed away, all of the caliphates from Abu Bakr (RA), Umar (RA) and so on had democratic elections on who should be the leader of the Muslim Ummah at that time as well as for other issues which were affecting the Ummah.

    Can I recommend Spinoza that rather than base your opinions on said religious fanatics Hizb-ut-Tahrir (which the majority of Muslims do not follow or listen to!), that you actually research properly from scholars (both Eastern and Western) and present your arguments.

    I propose you watch the link below (30 part series) which has a lot of accurate historical information about Islam (suitable for Non-Muslims and Muslims alike), Shariah and Democracy which you are obviously interested in. It depicts the origins of Islam as well as both the caliphate states of Abu Bakr and Umar (RA). In fact, Umar (RA) also had women as part of his 'cabinet' office.


    I also recommend that you fully understand that Islam has two aspects to it. The Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammed (SAW) in both Makkah and Madinah. The Makkan surahs (chapters) which were revealed were about Spiritual Islam as a Religion. The Medinan surahs were about running their state and communities.

    So Islam is not only a ''Religion'', it's a way of life. Muslim leadership has always consisted of both Religion and Politics. Where you say that Muslims would secretly like Shariah Law is actually inaccurate. In the Qur'an, it is revealed that Muslims should follow the leadership of the country which they reside in. Live in harmony. Just like the Jews and Christians lived in harmony alongside the Muslims in Medinah, fully functioning under Shariah law. They didn't seem to have a problem with it. Not because it was ruled by the sword (as you have implied above) but because it was actually a fair and harmonious way of living compared to what both the Byzantine and Persian Empires were offering.

    Now, let's bring this back to our time. Living in Britain for example. As a Muslim, I can see a lot of transference of our Government Policies, Judicial System and Democracy taken straight from Shariah law. Ideologies are the same - just wrapped up in a different way in which Non-Muslims and the common man wouldn't understand.

    Do some research on it. Compare Islamic ideologies on Governmental Policies, Judicial systems and Democracy and see what you come up with. You might find it interesting and hopefully enlightening. It might make you understand something from your friend's POV.

    Finally, the way you take and use verses out of the Qur'an is incorrect. What you read literally without having the background info about where it was revealed, why it was revealed and in what context, you're likely to come to silly conclusions like you have above. Just like you need years of training for a career or doctorate, you need training to understand the Qur'an. The context in which you have used the above verse is ludicrous!!

    Good luck on your research. I have read this blog a good few times and find it actually fascinating about how misguided your thoughts and opinions are. Saying that, I suppose that's what happens when you get facts from unreliable sources and/or use them in an incorrect manner.

    I hope the series I have recommended you to watch will bring a completely new dimension to your way of thinking. It's been highly acclaimed :)