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Islam, Democratic Values and the Experience of Al-Andalus

A. Intercultural Dialogue and Democracy (Lodz Team)

Johannes Thomas (2007)

Issued in:

Intercultural Dialogue and Citizenship

Publication Typology

: Article / Essay

Pages

: 159-176

Language

: EN

Content

Many Muslims consider democracy to be the rule of humans as opposed to Islam, which is supposed to be rule of God. They assume that secularism and democracy are necessarily connected. But secularism is not a prerequisite for democracy. Religion can play a significant role in democratic politics. Regardless of where sovereignty is placed theoretically, whether in the rule of humans or in the rule of God, in practice it is a state or government, which exercises it. Therefore there is no inherent contradiction between Islam and democracy as a specific rule. The explanation of why so many Muslim countries are not democratic should therefore be looked for and can be found in historical, political, cultural, and economic factors, not in the religious ones.

An intercultural dialogue, which would propose a consensus of opinion about human rights in modern society should be easier and more effective with Muslim modernists than with conservatives. What could make appear human rights more acceptable even to conservatives would be the historical example of a successful and at the same time truly Islamic state.

At the same time the Western jurisdiction should be learned about the fact of the varieties and, consequently, about the relativity of Islam interpretation of God’s will.

Key-Words

Democracy Islam

Last update

08/11/2010

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