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Switch to Forum Live View Is democracy compatible with Islam?
4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 5:13PM #1
Muhammad_Ahmad
Posts: 223

Is democracy compatible with Islam?

Muslims of the Lahore Ahmadiyya party believe so!

“Democracy is not only compatible with Islam, it is essential to the formation of an Islamic state. The acceptance of democracy by Muslim countries, therefore, should not be viewed as the westernization or modernization of such states, but rather as the implementation of an Islamic form of governance. Muslims need to acknowledge this fact and apply pressure on the political leaders of so-called “Islamic states” to conform to the democratic ideals expected from adherence to the religion of Islam." - Fazeel S. Khan

Islam and Democracy

Democracy and Semantics

The Congressman and the Qur'an

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 7:34AM #2
Bezant
Posts: 1,338

I should think so, if both ideologies are flexible enough to handle the other.


The failure of democracy and all the perks that we should hope come with it (e.g., human rights) in the Muslim nations is not the fault of Islam, but a lack of democratic history there. Democratisation doesn't happen overnight and without a minimum of struggle.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 8:49AM #3
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488

It's the wrong question. There is no intrinsic conflict between different faiths. cultures, and political systems. The wars and violence that have taken place between Islam and Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Christianity and Judaism; between east and west, north and south, republics and monarchies, etc., represent the work of fanatics within those groups.


As this is Beliefnet, let's focus on faith. Most of the people within each faith really don't care what other people believe. Fanatics care; they instigate hatred by blaming social ills on The Other Faith. And they attract followers who gullibly believe that fanaticism is just an unusually fervent and devout form of faith; they do not recognize that fanaticism is, in reality, a cancer that destroys its own setting as well as spreading death and destruction to others.


So the proper question to ask is whether rationality is compatible with fanaticism within any faith, or any nation, or any culture, or any political system -- and the answer is No. There is a real war to be fought, but it is not between groups; it is between rational people and fanatics within each group. It is a civil war within each group. It cannot be won by bullets, even though fanatics do not hesitate to fight with guns and bullets. It can only be won by rational people standing up to the fanatics, denouncing them in public, by name, as desecrators of their faith, their culture, their national heritage. Fanatics cannot be wiped out by bullets and bombs, but they can be effectively marginalized so that they do not have large followings but will be recognized for what they are -- isolated cranks, potentially dangerous, but dangerous only in the sense that a psychopathic killer is dangerous. If they kill people, they are simply murderers, not the leaders of a political or religious movement.


Most discussions about fanatical violence in today's world focus on Islam; it would be disingenous to pretend otherwise. Rational Muslims have denounced the violence committed by fanatics within their faith, and that is right and necessary -- but it is not enough. They must also denounce by name the fanatical clerics and politicians within their faith who stir up hatred in mosques, schools, and government offices, and on street-corners. They must condemn by name all those fanatics whose hate-mongering sets the stage for rampages of violence committed by fanatics with guns and bombs.


Would it be dangerous for rational Muslims to condemn by name the hate-mongers as well as the gunmen and suicide bombers within their faith? Maybe so. The question then becomes whether protection of their faith -- not from outsiders but from the cancer of fanaticism within their own faith -- is worthy of risk. I think it is. When America was attacked at Pearl Harbor in 1941, millions of Americans enlisted in the military to fight -- they weren't fanatics, and they knew that many of them would be killed in the war ahead, but they were willing to face the possibility of death to defend the nation from a deadly enemy. Fanaticism is a deadly enemy, and those who oppose it -- with words of rationality, not bullets -- may face physical danger from that enemy. But if Islam is worthy of defending, then it is worthy of facing danger in its defense.


Aside from denouncing individual fanatical hate-mongers, rational Muslims must preach a more general (and, thankfully, safer) message -- that fanaticism is not a fervent form of faith but an ugly distortion and desecration of true faith.


Finally, I must stress that everything I have said here directed toward rational Muslims also applies to rational Christians who must speak out and condemn by name the fanatics within their own faith -- again, not just those who commit acts of violence but those whose words stoke the flames of hatred. And it applies to rational Republicans and rational Democrats denouncing by name the demagogues within their own ranks.


The world will have taken an enormous step toward sanity and peace and justice when all faiths, all nations, all cultures recognize in common that they all have a common type of enemy -- the fanatics within their own groups. Rational people do not make war on each other.

I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 3:24PM #4
BDboy
Posts: 6,309

Apr 13, 2011 -- 8:49AM, Heretic_for_Christ wrote:


It's the wrong question. There is no intrinsic conflict between different faiths. cultures, and political systems. The wars and violence that have taken place between Islam and Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Christianity and Judaism; between east and west, north and south, republics and monarchies, etc., represent the work of fanatics within those groups.


As this is Beliefnet, let's focus on faith. Most of the people within each faith really don't care what other people believe. Fanatics care; they instigate hatred by blaming social ills on The Other Faith. And they attract followers who gullibly believe that fanaticism is just an unusually fervent and devout form of faith; they do not recognize that fanaticism is, in reality, a cancer that destroys its own setting as well as spreading death and destruction to others.


So the proper question to ask is whether rationality is compatible with fanaticism within any faith, or any nation, or any culture, or any political system -- and the answer is No. There is a real war to be fought, but it is not between groups; it is between rational people and fanatics within each group. It is a civil war within each group. It cannot be won by bullets, even though fanatics do not hesitate to fight with guns and bullets. It can only be won by rational people standing up to the fanatics, denouncing them in public, by name, as desecrators of their faith, their culture, their national heritage. Fanatics cannot be wiped out by bullets and bombs, but they can be effectively marginalized so that they do not have large followings but will be recognized for what they are -- isolated cranks, potentially dangerous, but dangerous only in the sense that a psychopathic killer is dangerous. If they kill people, they are simply murderers, not the leaders of a political or religious movement.


Most discussions about fanatical violence in today's world focus on Islam; it would be disingenous to pretend otherwise. Rational Muslims have denounced the violence committed by fanatics within their faith, and that is right and necessary -- but it is not enough. They must also denounce by name the fanatical clerics and politicians within their faith who stir up hatred in mosques, schools, and government offices, and on street-corners. They must condemn by name all those fanatics whose hate-mongering sets the stage for rampages of violence committed by fanatics with guns and bombs.


Would it be dangerous for rational Muslims to condemn by name the hate-mongers as well as the gunmen and suicide bombers within their faith? Maybe so. The question then becomes whether protection of their faith -- not from outsiders but from the cancer of fanaticism within their own faith -- is worthy of risk. I think it is. When America was attacked at Pearl Harbor in 1941, millions of Americans enlisted in the military to fight -- they weren't fanatics, and they knew that many of them would be killed in the war ahead, but they were willing to face the possibility of death to defend the nation from a deadly enemy. Fanaticism is a deadly enemy, and those who oppose it -- with words of rationality, not bullets -- may face physical danger from that enemy. But if Islam is worthy of defending, then it is worthy of facing danger in its defense.


Aside from denouncing individual fanatical hate-mongers, rational Muslims must preach a more general (and, thankfully, safer) message -- that fanaticism is not a fervent form of faith but an ugly distortion and desecration of true faith.


Finally, I must stress that everything I have said here directed toward rational Muslims also applies to rational Christians who must speak out and condemn by name the fanatics within their own faith -- again, not just those who commit acts of violence but those whose words stoke the flames of hatred. And it applies to rational Republicans and rational Democrats denouncing by name the demagogues within their own ranks.


The world will have taken an enormous step toward sanity and peace and justice when all faiths, all nations, all cultures recognize in common that they all have a common type of enemy -- the fanatics within their own groups. Rational people do not make war on each other.




 


>>>>>>>>> Agree with your sentiment. Just wanted to add a point to the discussion that, Islam does not support suicide at all. It is prohibited in Islam ( I think it is also the practice of most Christians). We have NOT seen suicide or "Suicide bombing" in last 1400 years since prophet Muhammad (PBUH) completed the message of Islam for humanity. It is a recent phenomenon to several "Political" crisis people are facing where people happened to be Muslim majority. In fact, if you do your research you will see the first modern suicide bombing for liberation was started by Tamils of Sri Lanka (A south east asian country in south of India). These are Hindus who felt they were oppressed by Bhuddist majority (!!) in Sri Lanka.


It was picked up by several pro liberation groups in various parts of the world. It is a foreign "Way" of protesting. At the same time we can all see some "Islamic" groups adopted this practice now a days. Albeit the origin is not from Islamic teaching.


Peace.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 4:07PM #5
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,800

" The wars and violence that have taken place between Islam and Christianity, Islam and Judaism, Christianity and Judaism; between east and west, north and south, republics and monarchies, etc., represent the work of fanatics within those groups."


 


I am sorry but the above statement is incorrect.


The wars by Christians against Jews and Muslims were not the work of fanatics but were the work of mainstream Christians. It was not just a few Christians who decided to persecute Jews, the persecution of Jews was part and parcel of the Christian belief system. The persecution of Jews was purposely placed into commonly accepted  Christian dogma by Paul and ratified by later Church members. It was (and in certain areas remains) a popular position.


The Crusades were motivated more by internal European political pressures than by religion, and the primary victims of the Crusades were Jews and non-Latin Christians.


The Christian (read European) efforts to overcome the Muslims (read Arab invaders) had more to do with the desire to repel the Muslim invasion than anything having to do with religion and both the political/military efforts and the religious efforts were widely supported


The wars by Muslims against Christians and Jews were similarly not the work of fanatics, but were the works of the mainstream of the society. The persecution of Jews and Christians was seen as necessary by just about everyone in order to secure the primacy of Islam. The wars of conquest were widely supported, although this was as likely for the non-religious benefits to be derived from conquest as the religious.


There have been no wars waged by Jews against either Christians or Muslims on religious grounds. In fact there have been no wars waged by Jews on arguably religious grounds since the revolts against Roman rule @ 2,000 years ago.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 5:08PM #6
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488

rocket,


The only disagreement we may have is that I do not define fanaticism by the fact that fanatics represent a small portion of the overall group. I define it by the content of their thought. The insitutionalized hatred and violence committed by the mainstream church in eras past simply means (to me, at least) that the church as a whole was fanatical, led by fanatics in positions of power. Today, fanatics are less in control of their respective churches, though they would dearly love to be in charge.

I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 7:36PM #7
Aka_me
Posts: 12,638

I would propose, under democracy... that no religious group can fix or eliminate their fanatics.


how are Christians supposed to fix their military funeral protesters, or Koran burners?


under democracy, they have a right to exist.


albeit not commit crimes.


 


it is humanity in its entirety... that is in the process of a spiritual awakening, and will experience some very painful birthing contractions before the spiritual awakening completes.


at which point, humanity will cognize the fact that it is one planet, one people, one family.

the US exports death and corruption globally on a scale undrempt by Iranian authorities. war for corporate profits funded by taxpayers and soldiers' lives plus unofficial war funded by drugs to minorities. wave that flag of corruption in blissful ignorance of the orphans it creates assisting the rich to get richer. it's all good though cause we don't need to do ANYTHING to change... mother nature will create the necessary change.
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