The Myth of Islamic Democracy and the Middle East Crisis

Time and time again we hear that Islam is a religion that emphasizes the equality of people, the accountability of leaders to community, and the respect of diversity and other faiths. That it is a faith which is fully compatible with democracy. However, such statements are rich with false dreams and void affirmations.

In my previous two blogs I revealed the teachings of the Quran, Islam’s holiest book, regarding two very important issues; freedom of religion and equality. The two articles addressed the treatment of people of other faith under Islamic law, and the status of women in general. The outcome of these articles was very obvious; Islam despises women and does not offer others any type of religious freedom under which they can worship and have their rights be protected at the same time.

Today I like to continue on with the same theme, with the emphasis more on the overall concept of Islam Sharia Law. However, the angle I will be taking has to do with the myth of the so called Islamic Democracy and the hope for new era in the Middle East.

Not that many people realize that in order for Islam to accept the concept of democracy, a cultural reformation must take place at first. Such reformation will have to cause drastic face lifting of values and beliefs that must be compatible with Islamic teachings and its religious values. In other words, in order for the Middle East to have any hope for any democracy, under Islamic ideology, there need to be a major adaptation of Islam and its Sharia Law. However, the concept of and Islamic democracy is a wishful thinking.

For how can Islam offer any type of democracy when it teaches certain realities as the ones discussed below:

Democracy & Islam

 Any system of man-made law is considered illicit under Islamic law, for whose adherents Allah already has provided the only law permitted sharia. Islam and democracy can never co-exist in harmony.

The Quran clearly teaches that “. . . if any fail to judge by the light of what Allah has revealed, they are no better than unbelievers.” (Q 5:47)

“The sharia cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards. Rather, it is the absolute norm to which all human values and conduct must conform.” (Muslim Brotherhood ‘spiritual leader’ Yousef al-Qaradawi)

Freedom of Religion and Apostasy

The established ruling of sharia is that apostates are to be killed wherever they may be found.  This ruling is derived directly from the Quran “Anyone who, after accepting Faith in Allah, utters Unbelief, except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith—but such as open their heart to Unbelief—on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.” (Q 16:106)

And from other classical Islamic sources such as:

“Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst…..When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed…There is no indemnity for killing an apostate…” (‘Umdat al-Salik, Reliance of the Traveler, Chapter 08.0-08.4)

Islamic Supremacism

Islam explicitly teaches it is superior to every other culture, faith, government, and society and that it is a religion ordained by Allah to conquer and dominate them. This sense of superiority comes directly from the Quran, with instructions such as these below:

Islam is the only acceptable religion “And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.” (Q 3:85); Muslims are superior to all other faith groups “Ye are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind.” (Q 3:110); Non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings” (Q 98:6); Muslims should only extend mercy to other Muslims “merciful to one another, but ruthless to the unbelievers” (Q 48:29).

The founder of The Muslim Brotherhood once declared that “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” (Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood).

The Real Question

With teachings like the ones above, how can we have any hope of an established democracy in the Middle East, when Islamic ideology and Sharia Law are its biggest threat, and will serve as its own obstacle rather than its self-motivation.

The real question to ask is:

If Islam is a religion that promotes democracy and freedom, then how come we do not hear of such freedom under the current Islamic regimes in the area, whether it is Saudi Arabia; a pure Islamic state, or Egypt, a semi-democratic state.

And if someone would argue that the real reason for the current crisis in the region has to do with the lack of an Islamic state, and then we are left with a puzzling question; how can an Islamic state be the real answer to the problem when it promotes teachings as the ones listed above. At the end we are left with a myth called “Islamic Democracy.”

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