Sunday, February 18, 2007

Islam & Democracy : Is A Clash Of Civilizations Inevitable?

I Watched today a quite interesting talk titled "Islam & Democracy: Is a clash of civiliations inevitable?" by Noah Feldman & Hamza Yusuf.

Some of their thoughts ...

  • Democracy doesn't mean absolute rule of the majority. If that was the case, majority discriminating against minority would have been a perfectly ok thing.

  • Democracy is the the rule of majority abiding to certain guiding principles. Principles that transcends human preferences to more divine sources such as nature or God.

  • Some of the most democratic countries don't separate state from religion. Great Britain and Israel are good examples.

  • In an Islamic state, Islam is the set of guiding principles.

  • This doesn't mean scholars should rule. On the contrary, during the epitome of the Islamic civilization the four most influential scholars where completely independent from the rulers and were often in conflict.

  • The laws in an Islamic state become the understanding of the state of Islam with the help of scholars and are not considered a monolithic theocratic orders.

A nice way of understanding both democracy and the notion of islamic states. Two things that are currently causing huge turmoil nowadays.

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