Islam and Democracy

Dalia Mogahed

Islam in politics has been asserted in many countries in the Muslim world through democratic elections. Islamist parties have gained varying degreesof political power in Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, and the occupied Palestinian territories, and have widespread influence in Morocco and Jordan. Now, more than ever, Western governments, alarmed by this outcome, have raised the perennial question: Is Islam compatible with democracy?A recent in-depth Gallup survey in 10 predominantly Muslim countries,representing more than 80% of the global Muslim population, shows that whenasked what they admire most about the West, Muslims frequently mention political freedom, liberty, fair judicial systems, and freedom of speech. When asked to critique their own societies, extremism and inadequate adherence to Islamic teachings were their top grievances.However, while Muslims say they admire freedom and an open political system,Gallup surveys suggest that they do not believe they must choose between Islam and democracy, but rather, that the two can co-exist inside one functional government.

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Filed Under: ArticlesEgyptFeaturedHamasMuslim BrotherhoodPalestineSyrian MBTurkeyTurkey's AKP

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