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     Question Forum : Islam & Democracy   Date Posted:  29 -October - 2001




Is democracy a valid concept within Islam. If not how is an Islamic government elected and structured. If Britain was to transform its-self into an Islamic country governed by the true "Islamic" model, what critical changes would have to be made?  

Islam separates those issues which are one and for all decided by the revelation of the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad - peace be with him - and those which are to be decided by people themselves giving due regard to the circumstances of the time. Contrary to what is often claimed, the majority of matters fall in the latter category, and Islamic Law (the Shariah) is very flexible and has changed and evolved over time. However, when making rules, these have to be based on accepted principles laid out in the Qur'anic revelation and these include both extensive research of a subject matter and consultation of those involved or affected. Western democracy, on the other hand, is very much a non-representative farce, where by voting once every now and then people hand over authority to a government (often only representing a minority view) who then are sovereign to do as they please without being bound by any higher principles. The accountability of elected representatives between elections is very limited. Islam would favour a much more direct and devolved system of government where state interference is reserved for matters of key national interest only.

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