Online Highlights from Islam and Democracy Debate

ABC Radio National’s Counterpoint program have ‘selected highlights‘ from the recent debate on Islam and democracy.  It’s not the entire debate but begins with Daniel Pipes making the case for the affirmative (that Islam is incompatible with democracy).


#1 Manas Shaikh on 04.30.08 at 1:57 am

Why do we worry about this guy? He is definitely knowledgeable- but his way of sharing knowledge is selective. Choosing to share only those facts that support his conclusion. Sometimes he even does not care about facts!

Put simply, he “says” that Islam is evil. I am not even sure he believes that!

#2 Manas Shaikh on 04.30.08 at 2:11 am

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#3 Eudaemonion on 04.30.08 at 2:14 am

*Yawn*. Pipes and co need new material. This stuff got old and stale already.

#4 aiman on 05.01.08 at 2:51 pm

Muhammad Asad said it best:

“One of the main reasons for the confusion regarding the idea of the Islamic state is the indiscriminate application – both by the upholders and the critics of this idea – of Western political terms and definitions to the entirely different concept of Islamic polity. Not infrequently we find in the writings of modern Muslims the assertion that “Islamic is democratic” or even that it aims at the establishment of a “socialist” society; whereas many Western writers refer to an alleged “totalitarianism” in Islam which must necessarily result in dictatorship. Such superficial attempts at political definitions are not only mutually contradictory, and therefore of no practical value for the purposes of a serious discussion, but also carry with them the danger of looking at the problems of Muslim society from the angle of Western historical experiences alone and, thus, of envisaging developments which may be justifiable or objectionable – depending on the viewpoint of the observer – but may be wholly out of place within the world-view of Islam….

“Viewed from this historical perspective, ‘democracy’ as conceived in the modern West is infinitely nearer to the Islamic than to the ancient Greek concept of liberty; for Islam maintains that all human beings are socially equal and must, therefore, be given the same opportunities for development and self-expression. On the other hand, Islam makes it incumbent upon Muslims to subordinate their decisions to the guidance of the Divine Law revealed in the Qur’ãn and exemplified by the Prophet: an obligation which imposes definite limits on the community’s right to legislate and denies to the ‘will of the people’ that attribute of sovereignty which forms so integral a part of the Western concept of democracy.”

I’ve noticed that non-Muslims who argue that Islam is against democracy have some kind of agenda or the other. Pipes is an example of that. Islam, in fact, embraces many of the ideals of what we call ‘democracy’. It’s another story that many of the self-appointed Qutbian [crazed torchbearers of Al Qaeda like Ayman Zawahiri] fundamentalist leaders are pursuing a hellish path while destroying the native societies around them. Qutbian terrorism, a heresy against Islam, is the number one problem facing our community in my view.

#5 Mick on 05.02.08 at 5:56 pm

On the subject of democracy, isn’t it good to see Boris Johnson is creaming Red Ken Livingstone in the polls for London mayor.

#6 touchstone on 05.03.08 at 12:26 am

Why a collection of pre medieval precedents and practices, accepted withoubt doubt because of a man’s claim to prophethood should have any form of application to today’s world baffles me.

Pseudo intellectual apologists like Waleed Aly et al need to mature and abandon this intellectual cowardice which tethers religion to the modern world.

Accepting to debate “Islam” as some form of (coherent) political ideology is a complete joke in itself.

#7 Irfan Yusuf on 05.03.08 at 2:49 am

Wow. Londoners might just elect a mayor who shares the fanaticism of the July 7 bombers.

#8 Mick on 05.03.08 at 3:52 pm

Boris is a lot funnier than Ken. Therefore he’s a great choice for mayor.

#9 Abdul Rahman on 05.14.08 at 10:30 pm

The term pre-medieval would be inaccurate since we generally frame the medieval period roughly 500-1500 AD.
Never let facts get in the way of a “good” argument.

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