Liberal Democracy and Political Islam: the Search for Common Ground.

Mostapha Benhenda

Denna uppsats syftar till att skapa en dialog mellan demokratiska och islamiska politiska teorier.1 Samspelet mellan dem är förbryllande: till exempel, för att förklara förhållandet mellan demokrati och deras uppfattning om den ideala islamiska politiken
regimen, den pakistanska forskaren Abu ‘Ala Maududi myntade neologismen” teodemokrati ”medan den franska forskaren Louis Massignon föreslog oxymoron” sekulär teokrati ”. Dessa uttryck tyder på att vissa aspekter av demokrati utvärderas positivt och andra bedöms negativt. Till exempel, Muslimska forskare och aktivister stöder ofta principen om härskarnas ansvarsskyldighet, vilket är ett avgörande inslag i demokratin. Tvärtom, de förkastar ofta principen om åtskillnad mellan religion och stat, which is often considered to be part of democracy (at least, of democracy as known in the United States today). Given this mixed assessment of democratic principles, it seems interesting to determine the conception of democracy underlying Islamic political models. Med andra ord, we should try to find out what is democratic in “theodemocracy”. To that end, among the impressive diversity and plurality of Islamic traditions of normative political thought, we essentially focus on the broad current of thought going back to Abu ‘Ala Maududi and the Egyptian intellectual Sayyed Qutb.8 This particular trend of thought is interesting because in the Muslim world, it lies at the basis of some of the most challenging oppositions to the diffusion of the values originating from the West. Based on religious values, this trend elaborated a political model alternative to liberal democracy. Broadly speaking, the conception of democracy included in this Islamic political model is procedural. With some differences, this conception is inspired by democratic theories advocated by some constitutionalists and political scientists.10 It is thin and minimalist, up to a certain point. Till exempel, it does not rely on any notion of popular sovereignty and it does not require any separation between religion and politics. The first aim of this paper is to elaborate this minimalist conception. We make a detailed restatement of it in order to isolate this conception from its moral (liberal) foundations, which are controversial from the particular Islamic viewpoint considered here. Verkligen, the democratic process is usually derived from a principle of personal autonomy, which is not endorsed by these Islamic theories.11 Here, we show that such principle is not necessary to justify a democratic process.

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