0225 Complete

0225 Complete - 0225 Islam and Democracy

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0225 – Islam and Democracy John Voll and John Esposito – Islam’s Democratic Essence Most   societies   have   indigenous   traditions   that   incorporate   decision   making   by  consultation and some popular participation.  The modern democratization processes involve reconceptualizing what may have  been   anti-democratic   themes,   combining   these   with   the   protodemocratic   and  democratic elements in every tradition. For example, the Magna Carta was a royal  promise of privilege made to a group of nobles.  The unity of God is the central concept of Islamic faith, tradition, and practice. Under  God, every Muslim is absolutely equal.  The theocracy is ruled by the whole community of Muslims including the rank and  file. Every Muslim capable of giving a sound opinion on matters of Sharia is entitled  to interpret Sharia when such interpretation becomes necessary. The entire Muslims  population runs the state in accordance with the Book of God and the practice of His  Prophet.   Muslims   are   given   a   limited   popular   sovereignty   under   God’s   will.   Te  executive under this system of government is constituted by the general will of  Muslims who have also the right to depose it. Shiites also believe in people’s right to  elect representatives eligible for holding the position of religious authority Prophethood   and   Caliph   are   the   concepts   of   the   human   agents   involved   in  implementing the Islamic message. In Quran, caliph refers to all humans identifying  them as the deputies or agents of God on earth. The authority of the caliphate is  bestowed on the entire group of people, the community as a whole.  Consultation is understood to be the process of the ruler asking his populace for  advice. All Muslims as agents of God delegate their authority to the ruler and its is 
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their opinion that must also be sought in the conduct of state. The leaders should ask  for consultation from the assembly whose members of are the real representatives of  people. Consensus can provide an effective basis for accepting majority rule. The 
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2009 for the course GOVT 3313 taught by Professor Patel,david during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.

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0225 Complete - 0225 Islam and Democracy

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