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« Human evolutionFind out who blocked you »

Democracy and Islam

  • By: Qwaider

  • On:Monday, January 26, 2009 8:23:59 PM
  • In:Thoughts
  • Viewed: (6330) times

    • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
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    Rated 4.5/5 stars (104 votes cast)

    Does Islam contradict democracy? The simple answer is no, but here's why

    First, let's draw some broad definitions; Islam is a religion. Democracy is not. In that sense, they can't directly be compared to each other. Strict logical thinking dictates that this reason by its own is enough ground for both to coexist easily and peacefully. (than say two religions)

    Democracy is a governance system. That means that it's a method of electing a government that is usually from the "Citizens" (contrast with people, since this is a common misconception). Citizens under democracy have a some rights, and obligations (voting for example is an obligation).

    Democracy comes in so many different shapes, sizes and weirdness. For example, many tyrannical systems claim to be democratic. While some monarchies also claim to be democratic while violating some democracy principles. In short, PURE democracies exist ONLY IN BOOKS. There isn't a single nation that is 100% democratic (understandable since every person's interpretation is different)

    With that notion, I find it extremely juvenile from Anti-theists to barge religions into these matters to gain some points and smear the image of one religion or another. I say Anti-theists and not Atheists because true and real atheists don't usually engage in promoting what doesn't exist at the same time, they don't try to prove religions are wrong. Many examples exist of these folks.

    Take the United states for example as a model of the de fecto democracy of the world. It has even taken it upon itself to "export" democracy to other nations around the world. However, if you look at the constitution of the united states, you will notice that it has the word "God" in just ever other sentence. This is the Christian god by the way, which some have blamed for the inquisitions, prosecution of Scientists and the Crusades. (Just for the sake of clarity, Muslims, Christians and Jews believe in the same God)

    Anyway, that's not the point I am trying to make. The point is, Democracy doesn't mean equality. Not by a long shot. One isn't directly responsible or leads to the other. They're simply not mutually exclusive. Here are some examples. Not all citizens are able (under US Democracy) to be elected president. Immigrants have this "limbo" state where they are citizens but they're not really citizens. They can vote, and be part of the government but they can't be presidents. It's strictly for the "Born in the US" citizens.

    Second, Not everyone have the same rights in the US (and I'm not talking about 50 years ago where women and slaves didn't have any rights). I'm talking now. If you're not a citizen, you're no body. You're not eligible to perform jury duty because you fail in the condition "jury of his peers" condition to be a juror. In other words, not all "humans" are equal and therefore there's a level of "racism" against other humans in the US

    Third, if you're detained by the US government, your rights differ. You don't get the same rights as a US citizen and might not have American laws applied to you. In short, you're not a Citizen therefore you're not "equal"

    Fourth, a little over 50 years ago, "colored" humans were not allowed to attend the same schools, sit on the same busses, walk on the same side of the street, or even drink from the same water fountains. We're not talking 1400 years ago, we're talking 50 years ago in USA! The world leader in democracy! Few years before that, HUMANS were being bought and sold as a commodity, this was also under the democratic laws of the US!

    More examples from elsewhere around the world

    South Africa had a form of democracy yet still racially discriminated against the blacks.

    Israel claims to be the only democracy in the middle east, yet Arab Israeli citizens don't have the same rights as Jewish Israeli citizens. Israel commits collective punishment, illegally occupies areas that belong to Palestinians, demolishes FAMILY HOMES if ONE SON OF THE FAMILY did something to an Israeli citizen. Call it whatever you want. It's being passed democratically by the government

    Next, Democracy is not any less violent than any other form of government. Hitler was elected to office! Bush was elected TWICE while the Daly lama was appointed and he's one of the most peaceful people on the face of this planet!

    Conclusion. Democracy is not less violent, it doesn't mandate equality, and it doesn't exist anywhere in the world.

    Now, can Islam accommodate Democracy?

    Islam is a religion, it's a far larger concept than government. It infiltrates every aspect of life. In has provisions for inter-personal dealings to the bond between a person and "his" God. Islam was unique in the way that it didn't come to satisfy the spiritual side of human needs (As all religions do, and nothing has been invented yet that can replace this role). But it was truly progressive in the way it included provisions for social, economical, political, and even personal interactions. It had provisions for marriage and inheritance. It has provisions for government and electing officials and even appointment of officials.

    The Islamic form of government is known as the Khilafah, and in its most original form is a form of democracy. The Khalifa is elected among a trusted few and then given Bay'aa (sworn Allegiance to). After that, the countries under the Khilafa would have a sort of autonomous decentralized government that report back to the central government (very similar to what the United states have).

    The differences is that the Islamic government doesn't have "terms" although, it's common that a Khalifa would be removed from position if he was found unfit.

    To be Khalifa, you need to be a [good] Muslim (there's no citizenship requirement), You don't have to be born Muslim to become Khalifa (Most Muslim Khalif's of the 1st century after Hijara ware not born Muslims).

    So to sum up. Islam has provisions to have an elected Khalifa who then appoints local provisional rules who may or may not be accepted by the local population (happened) and therefore they can reject this appointment and ask for someone else that they accept. Which means it's not blind obedience and people have a say in it

    The Khalifa has an obligation towards the people and he is more of their servant and responsible for their well being. It's not unusual that people would protest and reject what the Khalifa would say, and he would go back on it.

    Islam accepts democracy, and can coexist with it. There is absolutely no contradiction between the two and people under Islam are truly equal. A non-Muslim, living under Islamic rule has rights under Islam. Even prisoners of war have rights under Islam. For god's sake, even Animals have rights under Islam.

    Next episode, Shariah Law, and 'other' laws

    Other Memories Documented on January 26
    « Human evolutionFind out who blocked you »

    Memories....

    • #1
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 9:09:43 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.15]
    Claiming that Sharia and democracy can coexist proves only how little you know about Sharia.

    There is a difference between Sharia and democracy, true!
    But that does not mean that you can have them both at the same time!

    It is simple, let us not go into multi-dimensions and separate realities please, The two main principles that are included in any definition of democracy are:

    1. All members of the society have equal access to power.

    2. All members of the society enjoy universally recognized freedoms and liberties such as:

    A. Equality: All members of the society are looked upon equally in the eye of law.
    B. Freedom of belief: All members of the society have the right to choose their belief and practice it the way they want.
    C. Freedom of expression: All members of the society have the right to express themselves freely.

    Sharia disagree with ALL these principles which makes it an nondemocratic system.

    It is that simple!

    Stating that democracy is not being practiced 100% won't help you in this discussion simply because the same goes to Sharia.
    • #2
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 9:10:55 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.17]
    How little you know about democracy and Sharia*
    • #3
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 9:15:50 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.19]
    And one more thing please, being an atheist does not mean that you can't share your thoughts on religions with other, get the facts straight!
    • #4
    • Jumana :)
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 9:47:16 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.02]
    <<<< how nice dissssss :D
    • #5
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 10:24:32 PM
    • SpamScore=[-38.1]

    Shariah is not related to democracy. It's a legal system not a governance system. It's like comparing a Human eye with a Tiger's claw. They're two completely different things. But allow me to show you the error of your ideas.
    You can have the two IF, you decide democratically that you want to follow the Shaiah. Example, Gaza. They ELECTED a government (Democratically) that wants to apply Shaiah. Another example? Jordan and the majority of the Arab world that has Shaiah as the base of their social laws. Here, a so called "democracy" is running Shariah, with no issues.

    If you show me a country that applies social equality to all its members we can argue then. But for example, not all members of the American society are allowed to be married (Homosexuals) and this is a democracy!(not that Islam allows it, Islam doesn't) So where's the Equality? Another thing to consider is immigrants in the US (legal or otherwise) they are members of the society, yet they don't have the same rights as everyone else. Where's the equality there?
    In contrast, everyone in the Islamic Shariah has EXACTLY THE SAME PENALTY for the crime they committed. There is absolutely no distinction there. Anyone would know that had they read a thing or two about Shariah

    By the way, your definition of democracy is lacking. It's not true, you have to include "Citizen" like I said above. Because if you're not a citizen democracy doesn't apply to you. (did you even read what I wrote before you decided to show how stupid you are?)
    Freedom of belief and Freedom of Expression are NOT part of democracy. I don't know where you get that from. But if you could have SLAVES in a DEMOCRATIC society, I don't think freedom of ANYTHING claim apply any more

    To go more along the fallacy of "freedom of doing anything" can anyone in a democracy decide that he wants to kick out the government? Or say, not pay Taxes? He loses all his privileges on the spot and gets kicked out of heaven, emmm sorry Democracy

    As I have demonstrated, Islam can coexist (and have) with Democracy. Shaiah as a legal system can also coexist with a governance system like Democracy. It can coexist with a monarchy, it can coexist with a dictatorship, it can coexist with any form of government you have

    And it's not me who doesn't know much about Shaiah.

    Being an atheist is not like being an anti-theist. Which is what you are. You classify yourself however you like, and I classify you as you appear. A hateful anti-theist person attacking religion just so you can cope with the emptiness of following mindless empty monkey atheism, not because you understand it. You have clearly shown that you don't. But because, that's how far along you have been through that book

    Thanks Qweider this is one excellent article. Very insightful and very well thought of. I will be adding a link to it at the United states Democracy Institute
    Thanks for the great ideas.
    • #7
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 10:53:59 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.23]
    Qwaider: Being elected democratically is not the same thing as being democratic, I really hope that you understand the difference.

    Hitler was elected democratically but that does not necessarily mean that the system he practiced was democratic.

    I really hate the fact that you like to portrait the image of democracy be relating it to the ugly history of USA.
    USA is not the most democratic country on earth and you know that well, why don't you use examples of democratic systems such as the one being practiced in Sweden today?

    Sweden is a fine example of democracy, all individuals in the society are treated equally in the eye of law unlike in the Sharia law system.

    My definition of democracy is a fine and a well accepted definition, if you disagree with it then your definition of democracy has to be corrected.

    The question of citizenship does not help you either my friend, because if you are an individual in the society you are naturally given all the rights everybody else has, if you are an immigrant then you are not part of the society so you do not count until you become part of the society.

    freedom of speech and belief are universally recognized freedoms and liberties so I do not know what you are talking about.

    Man please go read a little bit more before you try to ignorantly prove others wrong, there are plenty of websites and books that can help you in this field.

    I was not expecting you to come here and state the fact that Sharia is not a democratic system, of course I was expecting you to defend your religious believes but not to the point were you misinterpret, redefine and mix up everything just not to look uncivilized.

    ''(did you even read what I wrote before you decided to show how stupid you are?)''
    I guess you will never change this attitude of yours, you always throw hateful words on your opponents in a discussion when you have nothing better to say. :)
    • #8
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 11:01:37 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.25]
    On a side note: I really hate it when someone agrees with another person no matter how wrong, ignorant, stupid, unrealistic or unreasonable that persons argument is simply because they have no better opinion themselves.
    • #9
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 11:06:59 PM
    • SpamScore=[-38.12]

    Democracy buff, you're welcome

    Nizar,
    You mean to say that computerized isn't the same thing as being computer based? hmmm

    Well, as you pointed out, Democracy resulted in people like Hitler, does this mean that the Shariah is to blame for it!? I don't think so!

    Sweden is more democratic than the US, and I agree to that. But you see, history is modeled after the alpha powers of the World. US claims to be the custodian of democracy. It happens to be one of the Alpha therefore everyone follows
    Now Sweden is a kingdom right? how does Monarchy not contradict with Democracy for you? That's something that will keep me puzzled

    The legal system of Sweden is not Democracy, democracy is NOT a legal system. When you realize that you can stop comparing it to Shariah. It's not Democracy that mandates equality but apparently, you just don't want to understand that.

    Your definition is wrong, you need to get yourself a little educated and grow up a little bit because this is not kindergarten. You obviously not doing this for the sake of democracy but to smear the image of Religion. That's hate in its glorious way.

    Don't tell me to go read when you're being so ignorant and close minded about things. You go read, and learn some logic, then come and discuss

    • #10
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 11:08:30 PM
    • SpamScore=[-38.14]
    On a side note, you can say that to yourself.
    • #11
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/26/2009 11:20:39 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.27]
    Sweden has a Monarchy, but it is a symbolic Monarchy not like the one you have in Jordan for example.

    The Swedish Monarchy does not and is not allowed to interfere in politics, diplomacy, economy or even sports, they are a symbol that does not involve it's self in the democratic governments work at all.

    If you want to have Sharia as something symbolic that's fine, but as soon as it activates its control over the governments work then it shall not and will not be able to coexist with democracy.

    The democratically elected government you have will automatically be recognized as a nondemocratic system because it has broken the main principles of democracy.

    On the side note: Do I look like I agree with you?
    • #12
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 12:11:43 AM
    • SpamScore=[-38.16]
    Nizar,
    It's futile to argue with you, you just don't get it. Democracy and the law are two different things. Try to get in terms with that concept first, then we'll talk. Before that, you're sadly in an infinite möbius loop of stubbornness. It will not help.
    You know for an atheist, you're too stuck on conventional ideas. You really need to be a little bit less angry at everything.

    Finally, I'm not trying to polish the image of anything. Unlike you who is just trying to ruin the image of religions. What you're doing is Anger and hate. Not a good thing. Cool down, THINK, learn some logic, THEN, you can argue
    • #13
    • CaveMan
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 12:15:55 AM
    • SpamScore=[6.5]
    Qwaider, Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level
    • #14
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 1:46:25 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.29]
    I have lost 10 IQ points trying to understand your mentality and the mentality of people that agree with you.

    I can not make it any simpler than this:

    Sharia does not support freedom of speech, freedom of belief and individual equality in the eye of law and thus it is a nondemocratic system if practiced in the form of a government.

    If you have troubles understanding this then you have serious issues!

    And what's up with the age thing that you and many other old arab blogging farts like to use as an argument against me.

    If you are jealous of me just because I am still enjoying my young awesome life and my good education then keep it to yourself and please do not try to disipritly use it in every second argument in hope that you might look smarter.
    • #15
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 2:20:58 AM
    • SpamScore=[-38.18]
    Nizar, you don't have 10 IQ points to lose. I will not engage in any discussion with you if you maintain this insulting rude attitude. You don't realize that you are stupid. You don't know what you're talking about and arguing with you is a waste of time

    Shariah promotes freedom of speech. Democracy doesn't MANDATE it either so stop your bullshit ok?
    Freedom of belief is maintained AND protected under shariah. Again read some to be able to have any credibility

    Democracy has NOTHING TO DO WITH FREEDOM OF ANYTHING!

    You're a rude little brat that's why people with age (look up experience), education and IQ keep telling you to go and read some books. Don't bother replying. At least we have degrees to wipe our butts with. You don't have anything to boast but your stupidity ... Enjoy that!  Seriously ignorance is bliss!
    • #16
    • GODisLOVE
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 2:25:29 AM
    • SpamScore=[2]

    The United states is a Christian democracy. It might not spell that out, but from what I gather, it favors Christian beliefs. That makes it a theist-democracy. Many of the laws are rooted into the Christian faith. Does this [removed] Nizar going to protest that Democracy can't coexist with other religions next?

    I didn't know Sweden had an over-population of [removed]

    This comment was edited by the Admin

    • #17
    • Idiots'r'Us
    • Windows Opera Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 2:29:48 AM
    • SpamScore=[1.5]

    The comment was removed by admin

    • #18
    • IED
    • Windows Safari Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 2:44:22 AM
    • SpamScore=[1.5]

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I have enjoyed reading it. It helped demystify certain ideas about Islam and democracy. I find it very thoughtful and very logical. It's a pleasure to read
    In a country like the US, where democracy is being misrepresented, every argument you gave was absolutely valid. That's because democracy has literally been hijacked.

    On behalf of the International Endowment for Democracy, thank you

    • #19
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 3:04:24 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.3]
    So now you delete my comment because I have proven you wrong and you leave their comments just because they agree with you although they attack me personally?
    __________________________________________________

    How the hell does Shariah promotes freedom of speech when criticizing Islam and it's prophet Mohammad is punished by death?

    Hoe does Sharia promotes freedom of belief when the punishment for converting from Islam is death?

    How does Sharia promotes equality when a woman's testimony is worth only half of a man's?

    These are disagreements that make Sharia a non-democratic system if practiced in the form of a government simply because they break the principles of democracy.

    If you don't know they principles of democracy, you can find them on my blog, in the comments I published in this post and on wikipedia.

    You really don't have anything better to say, once you present a VALID argument I will continue the discussion with you and your likes, peace for now.
    • #20
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 3:12:29 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.3]
    So this is How you want to have a fair discussion?
    • #21
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 3:13:58 AM
    • SpamScore=[9.71]
    ''Democracy has NOTHING TO DO WITH FREEDOM OF ANYTHING!''

    From Democracy's page on wikipedia I quote:
    ''Even though there is no universally accepted definition of 'democracy',[3] there are two principles that any definition of democracy includes. The first principle is that all members of the society have equal access to power and the second that all members enjoy universally recognized freedoms and liberties.''

    Who of us has the wrong definition of democracy now?
    • #22
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 3:31:00 AM
    • SpamScore=[9.72]
    How the hell does Shariah promotes freedom of speech when criticizing Islam and it's prophet Mohammad is punished by death?

    Hoe does Sharia promotes freedom of belief when the punishment for converting from Islam is death?

    How does Sharia promotes equality when a woman's testimony is worth only half of a man's?

    These are disagreements that make Sharia a non-democratic system if practiced in the form of a government simply because they break the principles of democracy.

    If you don't know they principles of democracy, you can find them on my blog, in the comments I published in this post and on wikipedia.

    You really don't have anything better to say, once you present a VALID argument I will continue the discussion with you and your likes, peace for now.
    • #23
    • Mohanned
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 5:18:30 AM
    • SpamScore=[-3.24]
    أظلني قاعد علجاعد أحسنلي..
    • #24
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 7:22:43 AM
    • SpamScore=[-48.1]
    Democracy again, is a governance system. It's NOT a guarantee that anyone would have any rights (other than the right of voting) and that is FOR CITIZENS ONLY!
    Many countries were democracies long before they abolished Slavery, gave voting rights to minorities and women. Some still don't recognize the rights of immigrants, many still don't treat everyone equally in the eye of the law. That right is exclusive to their own citizens

    This subject is NOT about Shariah, it's not related to democracy. As I said, we can discuss Shariah when we discuss other legal systems.

    By the way, Democracy doesn't guarantee freedom of speech. You can't mix the two. A system that allows slavery, racism to exist under it, surely doesn't allow complete freedom of speech. But there's a difference between freedom of speech and slander. Even if that slander is directed at a figure like Prophet Mohammad. Of course there will be people who would be inflamed by the act. They have been insulted. The same applies to people insulting one another, a person might decide to take further action and resort to violence. I'm not justifying it, I'm just stating that freedom of speech doesn't mean slander and smearing the image of others, in fact the law prohibits it! But there will always be stupid simpletons who will come here and shout at the top of their lungs "Foul"
    • #25
    • اسألوا اهل الذكر
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 7:33:20 AM
    • SpamScore=[0.5]
    بخصوص شبهة شهادة المرأة: فهذه استخدمها الجهلاء من اعداء الإسلام منذ القدم، و ليست بالشيء المستحدث. فما يتفوّه بها الا افّاق حقود. و قد رد عليه الإمام احمد بن حنبل قبل اكثر من 1200 عام
    قال الإمام أحمد بن حنبل [164-241هـ 780-855م] إن شهادة الرجل تعدل شهادة امرأتين فيما هو أكثر خبرة فيه، وأن شهادة المرأة تعدل شهادة رجلين فيما هي أكثر خبرة فيه من الرجل..

    فهذا هو الإسلام الدين الحق، يؤّدي الأمور الى اصحابها بدون نقصان. فشهادة المرأة لا تقل عن شهادة الرجل، بل  تفوقه في ما لها علم و خبرة به
    • #26
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 7:47:39 AM
    • SpamScore=[-48.12]
    Nizar,
    So Freedom of speech is limited to only smearing Islam, everything else under the Sun is not enough.
    This is not a "Freedom" as long as it harms some people. It's a matter of honor, dignity and pride. Any lunatic sick enough to violate should bare the consequences
    But, again, this is not related to democracy. You keep brining this up when it's not even remotely related to democracy.
    Islam is not the only religion that punishes people with death for leaving it. The Armies of the world would shoot a deserter on the spot for doing that. Yet, it's acceptable under Democratic governments
    The woman's testimony is there as a guideline for the people who are performing a transaction. It's a guideline and not the law. There are many cases where the woman's testimony is just like a man (everything else), and there are occasions when women's testimony is worth MORE than a man's testimony. You just don't know anything about Shariah and judge by looking at the superficial external

    In either case, none of the above is a principle or prerequisite or mandated by Democracy
    • #27
    • kinzi
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 11:58:19 AM
    • SpamScore=[0.84]
    I'm not comfortable with the post somehow, apart from Nizar's points. The topic has been percolating in my head for months, and other points brought up broaden it yet further.

    I don't have the time to get into it now, but may post about it when I can collect my thoughts better. Hhmmm.
    • #28
    • bambam
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 12:43:48 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.05]
    before reading the rest of the comments and not looking at the previous post with the same name ... corrections across the board since i had a similar discussion with u in the past. so let me try to tackle things one by one;
    The part of anti-thiest and true athiests ... there is actually no true anything when it comes to athiests since its not sticking to a system its the lack of a system so anybody adopting that label qualifies while the most visible individuals tend to stereotype the label just like anything else.
    Next the US constitution doesn't mention the word "god" once ... and if it does it would certainly be in the deist sense rather than the christian sense (Jefferson link here), its not the leading democracy since there are metrics that say it is (by far actually) but the word democracy is not the equality of all humans, it is the equality of citizens and it stems from nationalism hence the fact that there is a disparity of rights between nationals and non nationals.
    The point of democracy is not the equality, one of the ideological goals of democracy is the protection of minority rights and facilitating the framework for change to occur and be adopted by the whole system. so you are treating democracy using the wrong scale here and ur crucifying it for something it doesn't claim to be (even if so and so said it to be so ... it wasn't called democracy for naught, check the etymology). the problem with sharia as a democratic system is that certain minorities are not allowed to exist and are contradicted for their opposition to the system, so its a system that doesn't tolerate opposition.

    Now to tackle sharia, i don't know which history you are drawing upon to build this Utopian image of islamic politics and sharia laws, but that is not the point. The point is that as discussed in the previous paragraph the advantage of democracy is creating a framework for change according to the will of the people. Sharia law on the other hand is mostly a static system that opposes change of any sort (yes you are allowed to play on the desolate zones of the legislative body but not mess with the core), the mode of election is hardly the will of the people and its mostly the will of the privileged few hence the factionalism and shifts of power that litter the history books since the first years of the khalifate and the short life span of each ruler. it is interesting that you use the same point in both sides of the argument, when you say the requirement to be a khalifa is to be a "good" muslim in contrast with a born national is the same requirement of nationalistic proof of allegiance, albeit the later is abiding by theological borders rather than geographical.
    As for the last part about rights, lets not fool ourselves and adopt the high school religious teacher rhetoric of islam being the first harbor of human rights. while it was revolutionary in recognizing women beyond their commodity status before it and creating a more tempting taxing system for the denizens. since that time we have came a long way in terms of rights and granting them.

    anyways thats a long enough comment without tackling the rest of the comments and the "ideas" in them. just a quick advice to nizar you can't make your point by poking another persons eye out and telling them see "YOU ARE WRONG" it just defeats the purpose. when tackling issues of philosophy you need to keep an eye out for introducing morality into the argument because it just complicates things even further and makes your opinion more subjective and hence weaker
    • #29
    • مهبول
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 5:25:32 PM
    • SpamScore=[0.5]
    واحد عمره ١٩ سنة شو بعرفه بيلشريعة والمقراتية
    • #30
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 5:33:43 PM
    • SpamScore=[-48.14]
    Kinzi,
    What exactly makes you uneasy about an Article that deals with the Islamic view of Democracy?, I find that a bit odd!

    Bambam
    On Atheists and Anti-theists, I don't want to talk much about that since I think many will disagree on the very definition. And since this is not exactly the topic of this post so I'll discuss this with you some other time.
    As for god and the united states, the very Pledge of Allegiance "Under god" even thought it was a later addition to it. It's there now, and by  the order of a supreme court. Anyway, I think it has a lot of "related" goals, but not based on Christianity. So I stand corrected.

    I agree with you fully when you say, "The point of democracy is not the equality", there is another "bill of rights" that augments these ideas, and gives individuals, minorities specific rights. These rights differ from one place to another and their very existence proves that Democracy doesn't actually have provisions for that.
    Now through elections, even minorities can have representatives to cater for their own needs. And with that a form of equality is provided.

    Shariah again, is not a governance system bambam. You're smarter than that, and should be comparing Apples and oranges. The Islamic ruling system (the Khalifat) has provisions to oppose, object, and even overturn the whole system. By simple individuals. It also wouldn't be tough for it to adapt to democracy as the form of selecting a ruler since this is -in it's purist form- what it should be like, and was practiced immediate after the prophet's death.
    Minorities under Islam are cared for, protected and allowed to practice their rituals in complete safety, without any interference as has been the case in the Islamic ruled middle east for 1400 years.

    Shariah is extremely far from static, it has within it laws and regulations that allow it to be dynamic and to cater for every possible upcoming event. As a matter of fact, many of the Imams in the past used to theorize about situations and find solutions for them. When the issues hasn't happened yet. As a matter of showing how flexible and how progressive the Shariah was, and have been for so long.
    And yes, there are red lines in the Islamic faith that are not open for interpretation. But what's wrong with that? These won't account for 1/10000 of what Islam is. And everything else is open for interpretation and "Ijtihad"

    What is wrong exactly with the broad definition of "Good"? I used that deliberately to indicate that it's the view of people, not his birth place that makes him good. In my view that is far superior to the "Citizen" concept, as it shows clearly that people are indeed Equal and someone like Schwarzenegger becoming a president isn't something completely unacceptable, in fact that is exactly what happened in Islam.

    Islam was not the first religion or legal system to harbor human rights, I didn't claim that. I said, their rights are protected and human rights have flourished. At least the concept of color equality was there in Islam in the teachings and the actual words of the prophet. Now regarding rights, Islam is not against them, it supports them, it would actually encourage more rights to be given to people not less. It doesn't prohibit human rights in anyway
    Your ideas about Islam are clouded somehow by what the mass media has done to many. Even some Muslims who rally lost their identity and the greatness of this religion. Again, I'm not promoting Islam as a substitute for Democracy. I love Democracy, and would love to live in a Democracy myself. I'm just pointing out that Islam and Democracy can coexist! Is that impossible?
    • #31
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 5:36:18 PM
    • SpamScore=[-48.16]
    مهبول
    في التاريخ، شباب اعمارهم لم تتجاوز ال14 تكلّموا و نشروا الدعوة .. العمر ليس دائما مقياس فرجال في 60 هذه الأيام تجدهم لا يفقهون من امرهم شيئا
    فالتمس لأخيك عذرا
    • #32
    • Nizar
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 9:41:34 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.39]
    A common misunderstanding,

    Religion and democracy can coexist if the religious government does not break the main principles of democracy.

    No problem, but if the religious government breaks the principles of democracy like Sharia does then it can not be considered a democratic system.

    Thank you!
    • #33
    • kinzi
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 9:50:11 PM
    • SpamScore=[0.82]
    Qwaider, I still have yet to sort it all out, a head cold and lack of husband aren't helping clarify. I will have to sit down with MommaBean, my political sounding board, and go over it with her. It mainly has to do with how living in Jordan differs from living in the US.

    Bam hit a couple of my points here:

    "...democracy is not the equality of all humans, it is the equality of citizens and it stems from nationalism hence the fact that there is a disparity of rights between nationals and non nationals.

    "The point of democracy is not the equality, one of the ideological goals of democracy is the protection of minority rights and facilitating the framework for change to occur and be adopted by the whole system. so you are treating democracy using the wrong scale here"

    Thanks for bringing the subject up, tho.
    • #34
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 9:54:58 PM
    • SpamScore=[-47.93]
    Shariah doesn't violate democracy. They're two parallel concepts that don't meet.
    Again this is like saying, French law and American democracy. Can they co-exist? Sure they can, they're not the same thing. But American law and French law, these might have conflicts
    Shaiah is a Law Not a government system
    • #35
    • Eman
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 9:56:15 PM
    • SpamScore=[0.45]
    Nizar?

    What exactly do you want to point out with all this debating against Islam and Arabs? What is it that you want to enlighten us with, your opposition to everything that has to do with these two subjects, is that it? Ok, we got that, so now move on to something else, because you sure as heck will not be awarded the noble peace prize, if that’s what you have in mind.

    If you have some kind of vendetta against any of the two, why not try going to non-Arab or non-Islamic blogs and post your theories there where they are more entertaining to the readers, because I doubt there are many here who want to hear all this.

    Salam
    • #36
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 10:06:22 PM
    • SpamScore=[-47.95]
    Kinzi, those points that I've been saying all along. from the very top. Over and over and over.
    Just kindly read -again- with an open mind
    • #37
    • mohanned
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 10:20:16 PM
    • SpamScore=[-3.26]
    The term "democracy" which nizar is talking about-I would assume- is more about individualism and selfishness.

    Kinzi,
    It is intersting to see you talk about the issue. Not long ago you were ready to "deicde" for a woman on what she can and can't do with her fetus -based on a bleief you hold dear. That woman's "right" was threatened by your "obligation" and relegious beliefs, and it was enabled through the democratic process. We can argue that it didn't cause action, but intentions is what matter most when it comes to judging failed actions.

    An example for those who argue about the merits of democracy: Gay marriage in california where it is up to the elecotrate to decide whether gays can get married-->Democracy at work.

     
    • #38
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 10:21:24 PM
    • SpamScore=[-47.97]
    Eman,
    I think ultimately it's logic with logic. But some people just don't want to ever be convinced. It doesn't matter what you say, it doesn't matter if you had water tight arguments. It just doesn't matter
    But it's our duty to keep on educating people who might have some misconceptions about these issues. And I'm more than willing to entertain anyone with questions or needing help understanding these issues. Not just from a single side of hatred to Arabs and Muslims, and not from the side of sheiks living in the middle ages. But from the point of view of modern Arabs and Muslims who are hoping for a better future and looking to augment and enhance their culture and society with forward thinking ideas regardless of their source.
    That's why I say, and I keep repeating. I love democracy, and would love to live in one. I don't find it contradicting with my beliefs and that's not because of the lack of understanding of my own religion, but because I understand it right (and many sadly don't)
    • #39
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/27/2009 10:28:48 PM
    • SpamScore=[-47.99]
    Thanks Mohannad
    I think many people confuse democracy with human rights or "bill of rights" and think that since it's democracy then everything automatically falls into place when in fact it's a very laborious process to get people to agree to anything

    Take this simple post for example. Imagine people on both side of the isle. People from all walks of life and different affiliations, motives, background and allegiances. Then try to bring them together... It's not as simple as it sounds.

    Some Democracies have passed laws the limit and remove individual rights. Like passing bills to perform eavesdropping on Americans in the name of national security.

    Why is it so odd that we can have an Islamic democracy? That question keeps popping up in my head!
    • #40
    • مهبول
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2009 12:03:30 AM
    • SpamScore=[0.01]

    Nizer
    لقد نسيت أن يوم الثلاثاء هو تيوس دي                                      

    • #41
    • bambam
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2009 9:53:25 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.07]
    See for me democracy strives to do two things, protect minorities and provide a framework for change. when it fails to do those things then it turns into mob rule.
    The reason why it doesn't make much sense is because islam draws the line for minorities on the religious sense, there is no legislation - could be added later on - that protects any other minorities on the contrary it promotes eradicating certain kinds of minorities (al hudood are not up for interpretation in that matter but i know you believe otherwise). so minorities are not protected.

    The ability for change is only limited by the upper strata of governance, and the system is built to be that way. it is interesting to say that sharia law is not a system of governance since it dictates how people should be born, live and die and what they should do in the many instances. that by definition governs their life,and hence provides the frame work for the system of governance to stem from.

    Your discussion of how sharia law is not static reminded me of the arguments and fights ibn rushd and al ghazali had about sharia law and systems of governance. if history can make any statement regarding the result of the discussion; it would be that the more islamic you are perceived, the less of chance you are going to adopt a secular system and see the merits of distancing yourself from sharia law because of its limited ability to meet the needs of contemporary society. so this is hardly a new discussion, it's been had before and there is no harm in drawing upon history to learn how islamic sharia law resisted change.

    All that aside, I appreciate the back handed comment you throw at me in the end. can we say ad hominem? I think i have a clearly vivid understanding of islam, and if you are interested in seeing if your thoughts will withstand mine you are welcome to a debate... just don't do use an ad hominem argument.
    • #42
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2009 5:46:19 PM
    • SpamScore=[-38.66]
    Bambam
    Sadly, Democracy doesn't really work to actually do those two things. It's not an objective of democracy to protect minorities. In fact, minorities will often go unrepresented in most democracies BECAUSE they don't have enough votes to elect people into the government. I think Arab Israeli Palestinians, African Americans in USA (for a good 200 years) ..etc

    Islam provides minorities with the safety and stability to live with dignity and on equal rights like anyone else in the society. And in fact, these minorities have been safe for thousands of years with a proven track record in every major city from Cairo, to Damascus, to Jerusalem.
    Here's where you're gravely mistaken and for some reason choose to disregard 1400 years of proven peaceful coexistence with Christians, Jews and even Hindus.

    I'll give you another example where non-Muslims have actually been in the "Upper-strata", take the Othman Khilafate. It relied on Christians and Jews in it's "Upper strata" they were ministers, and close advisers, among other things. Trusted with just about anything to the effect that some Muslims were jealous of their status. So you really can't say that Islam rules these people out of the governing body. Not only that, this has been the case for over 1000 years when Saladin also trusted and appointed Christians and Jews in his own state.

    I'm glad you added "Law" at the end of the word Shariah, because that's what it is. It's a law. It tells people (as you said) how to live their lives. With that it continues to be changing and dynamic. It never stops evolving and many people see merit in it continuing to rule most of our lives.

    I'm not really sure why you're so sensitive about my response, I didn't mean to direct any ad hominem.

    Islam is a progressive religion that accept change and nurtures it, there are elements in history who have worked against this progress and have given Islam and the whole nation a lot of grief, but those really represent themselves and not this all encompassing religion. And I assure you, Islam and Democracy can coexist in a society. That's if we're ever able to try it.
    • #43
    • kinzi
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2009 10:30:49 PM
    • SpamScore=[0.8]
    Mohanned, democracy allows me the freedom to express my opinion about the fate of an unborn child whether abortion is allowed or not. Democracy allows me to vote my conscience on abortion.

    I believed a 'fetus' was a baby, and was anti-abortion long before I was a person with religious beliefs. A woman can do what ever she wants with her life, but I don't believe she has the right to end another person's life.

    Qwaider, I had my talk with MommaBean today :). My discomfort comes not from the different misconceptions and failures you are pointing out in democracy. It's not about having a closed mind, or not having read enough. Democracy is obviously flawed and not the cure for the world's ills, but it is the best system I have seen and lived in.

    It's just that I disagree based on my experience living in Jordan and talking to Christians throughout the Middle East and Asia.

    "Islam provides minorities with the safety and stability to live with dignity and on equal rights like anyone else in the society. And in fact, these minorities have been safe for thousands of years with a proven track record in every major city from Cairo, to Damascus, to Jerusalem. Here's where you're gravely mistaken and for some reason choose to disregard 1400 years of proven peaceful coexistence with Christians, Jews and even Hindus."

    I think there are many Christians who would disagree with you here, both your premise for the post and your version of history. That's all. I don't feel safe, stable, or like I have equal rights. Judging from the continual decline in the population if Christians due to immigration, it is not an uncommon feeling.

    We just disagree,and that's fine. Your post does help me see where your thinking comes from and moves toward. :)





    My discomfort comes
    • #44
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2009 10:55:20 PM
    • SpamScore=[-38.32]
    Actually Kinzi, that's not entirely true
    Many Christians would never leave no matter what happens. And this immigration "thing" is only natural due to the economic conditions. In fact, it's not just Christians who are immigrating. Many Muslims are doing exactly the same thing. And let me reassure you, it's not in search of democracy.

    I think Democracy is great, and I would support having a democratic system in Jordan. I see nothing wrong with democracy and other religions (but I mainly care about Islam that I know most about). With all it's flaws, I don't find democracy that bad. And find it would coexist nicely with Islam.

    You claim that "many Christians would disagree" and I would argue that "Many Christians would agree" it's a subjective thing without any statistics to prove either point. But I do have something to prove my point. Christians HAVE continuously occupied these lands for a good 1400 years, They didn't feel like they're unwelcome and it's time for them to leave. And that would never be the case under Islam. I find your comment very disrespectful by the way.
    I wonder, how could you be discomforted with something that you didn't even know and had to consult someone else to come to terms with it? If anything, it sounds like you were called into this rather late to show your support to something without really know what you're getting yourself into.
    • #45
    • Mohanned
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/28/2009 10:55:42 PM
    • SpamScore=[-3.28]
    Kinzi, Laws protect your freedom to express your "opinion". Democracy doesn't, democracy does so by passing laws that in one way or another limit other peoples' freedom rights.

    My point is, that many of those who advocate for their version of democracy are in fact hypocrites that only care for THEIR well being, whether that well being is economical or even spiritual in nature. They are ready to opress others through voting- In other words your vote is your weapon, your stone, and whip.


    • #46
    • kinzi
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 1/30/2009 3:29:33 PM
    • SpamScore=[5.78]
    Qwaider, I am sorry you felt disrespected by my opinion. You know I respect you, and even when I don't agree with you, I respect your opinion too.

    Most of my opinions are based on what Jordanian Christians tell me, which is why I consulted one before commenting. It wasn't a matter of 'not knowing'. It is much wiser to be certain before commenting when speaking for others. I am sure others are fine, of course that is implicit, I didn't say 'majority'. But of the families I know who have left in the last 16 years, it was a contributing factor.

    "Never" is a word to be careful of using, it is not this way in Jordan, but it is in many other Islamically-inclined countries. This is something I do know about, and late in the show or not, I felt it should be said.

    The tone of your reaction to my opinion it is probably one reason why you don't get more people from the other side of the spectrum. I'll only comment when I agree if you prefer.

    Mohanned, aha. I think most people are hypocrites who care primarily for their own well-being. I'm just glad I have a chance to vote for my opinions in this version of democracy.
    • #47
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/30/2009 5:38:53 PM
    • SpamScore=[-39.2]
    Kinzi,
    As I have mentioned, Islam would never derive people from their homes. It's unislamic. I mean if it did push them out that's unislamic. You know what I mean?

    I don't mind disagreement, or disagreeing comments. I welcome them, but that doesn't mean that I will change my mind about the way I view them. And I frankly thought you're wrong.

    The tone of my comment contains my skepticism towards your position. So why would you be upset that Islam and Democracy can coexist? Why would anyone be uneasy with the idea?  Is it because -perhaps- they don't really understand Islam? Sure, that would be a good reason. But if you allow the mind to wander a little bit, you would land on couple of unpleasant reasons.

    Now you answer me, how would an Islamic democracy be harmful, or make you feel uneasy if you were living in a country with such a system? Would you feel unsafe? What makes you feel safe now in Jordan where the Majority of the population is Muslim?

    Just know this, Islam has not left this stone unturned. It has made it very clear to it's followers how to deal with non-muslims. How to protect and respect them. And that's why countries which were under the Islamic rule preserved their culture, identity and most importantly religion. Look at Spain. 800 years under Islamic rule, yet no one was coerced into Islam. 800 years Kinzi.... 800 years! No genocide of natives. No mass murders of Natives, no Indian reservations for natives... Do you see what I mean? And that was BEFORE even America was discovered.

    All of this is simply because Islam has provisions for dealing with non-Muslims and it's not up to the interpretation of individuals.
    • #50
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 1/31/2009 6:37:13 AM
    • SpamScore=[-39.22]

    Nizar, when you grow up and know how to debate while being civilized and not a barbaric, undisciplined and disrespectful savage, I'll allow you to leave comments here
    What you are doing is completely undemocratic to say the least. And if you even remotely understand English you will notice that that sentence you keep copying from Wikipedia states very clearly for thick heads like you that even the definition of Democracy is contested. Look again, and you will see that "Citizen" word which means everyone else is not even human.
    Now run along and play "Mr know it all" somewhere else, because you're too stubborn, stupid and ridged to claim to even be democratic. If Democracy can mean one thing it would be that people have their own opinions that are not in line with your own and they also happen to be right!

    You too can have your Memories Documented

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