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  • Date :
  • 12/18/2011

Democracy in an Islamic Community


The discussion of probability or improbability of adoption of democracy in Islamic communities has been prevalent for a long time, especially in the last couple of centuries. Many intellectuals have proposed theories in this regard. Some of the religious intellectuals, who agree with the concept of religious democracy, have tried to bring Islam and democracy together with an intra-religious approach with regards to the following points:

1) On the basis of civil institutions of early years of Islam (like the Council, allegiance, etc.), Muslims can formulate modern institutions and define democratic practices for the present governance of their society.

2)There is a consistency between the political philosophy of democracy and the political philosophy of government in Islam.

3) Western democracy should be formulated within the framework of Islamic teachings.

4) Accepting democracy as a form of government in Islam.

5) Re-interpretation of democratic concepts within the Islamic tradition of reasoning and analysis.

Imam Khomeini too has talked a lot about the Western democracy and the Islamic type of democracy or people’s rule in an Islamic system. He maintained that the concept of democracy is ambiguous, changing, and fickle and by considering the Islamic rule as the superior form of government, he rejected the Western types of democracy. According to Imam Khomeini, the phenomenon of Western democracy and Western freedoms are artificial phenomena in line with Western interests. Thus, Imam Khomeini had a critical viewpoint towards Western democracy and maintained that Western democratic regimes were actually very distant from the true form of democracy.

Imam’s belief was based on the implementation of genuine democracy in religious society. He would occasionally talk about the superiority of the Islamic government over a Western democratic one, and he would call the Islamic government as an instance of ‘true democracy’, and insisted on the universality and perfection of the Islamic government.

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

Imam Khomeini’s key role in triumph of the Islamic Revolution (Part 1)

Imam Khomeini’s key role in triumph of the Islamic Revolution (Part 2)

Imam Khomeini’s key role in triumph of the Islamic Revolution (Part 3)

Imam Khomeini’s key role in triumph of the Islamic Revolution (Part 4)

The Formation of the Islamic Government and Its Outcome

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