Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why Islam can never accept Democracy and Secularism

It is an easy observation to make that muslim societies tend to reject both democracy and secularism. Out of 55 muslim nations, only two - Turkey and Indonesia - are democracies, and both are very fragile as far as democracies go. And both are democracies in spite of Islam, for very different reasons. In both cases, a powerful anti-Islamic influence is at play that prevents their slide into Islamic theocracy. Turkey was modernized by the anti-Islamic Kemal Ataturk, and Indonesian muslms still retain their pre-Islamic Hindu-Buddhist beliefs in a hybrid belief system called Abangan. As orthodox Islam grows in Indonesia, so do the calls for an Islamic theocracy grow ever louder.

Most of the above is known. What prompted me to write this article is that it is relatively rare for people to know the reason WHY Islam does not co-exist well with democracy. The reason is actually very simple and more people should be made aware of it.

The reason is simple - there is no democracy or secularism in the Kuran or the Sunnah (traditions of Muhammad as recorded in the Hadith)! Islam is based on the non-negotiable premise that the Kuran and the Sunnah will form the basis of Islamic life for all times to come. So anything that is not in the Kuran and Hadith can never be countenanced by Islam unless it is something that is relatively insignificant and not inimical to any normative principles of Islam. And the form of government, and tolerance towards other religions are not insignificant ideas, and they are directly at odds with all the normative principles of government as stated and practised by Muhammad. The Kuran and Sunnah of Muhammad are clear about the form of government that Allah demands - a theocratic state where people don't have rights - they only have the obligation to follow Allah's law (aka Shari'a). The Kuran and Sunnah set in stone, once and for all, the kind of government that shall rule Islamic societies. It is to be an Emirate, under a single ruler who is also the religious head of state, imposes Shari'a law, is not elected, and appoints his successor.

It is that simple. The Kuran and Hadith don't mention democracy or secularism. Muhammad was not an elected leader of muslims, nor were his successors. Muhammad appointed his successor. Since anything that Muhammad does becomes normative for muslims, it follows that in a muslim state, succession is not by elections, but by being chosen as the successor by the previous leader. Similarly, Muhammad did not run a secular state. He personally murdered the Arab Pagans, entire tribes of Jews, and stated that he wanted to cleanse the arabian peninsula of all Jews and Christians. Again, that is normative for all muslims, for all times to come. This explains why muslims constantly demand an Islamic state which they refuse to share with the hated Kuffar.

I hope that readers, after reading this post, will realize that Islam can NEVER accept Democracy and Secularism. This is not a temporary phenomenon, or a purely statistical observation. It is firmly rooted in Islam's theology. Anything not in the Kuran and Sunnah is, by definition, "un-Islamic." Democracy and Secularism are, therefore, un-Islamic.

I end with a quote from Sufi Muhammad - the leader of the Pakistani Taliban that has recently imposed Shari'a law in Pakistan's Swat province:

Lahore: After inking a deal with the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) government for implementation of Islamic law in the Swat Valley, the Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Sufi Muhammad, has expressed his desire of implementation of a similar law over the whole world.

Expressing his hatred for people’s rule, Muhammad said Islam does not have any mention of democracy or elections.

“From the very beginning, I have viewed democracy as a system imposed on us by the infidels. Islam does not allow democracy or elections,”
‘The Daily Times’ quoted Muhammad, as saying.

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