Islam versus Democracy

I’ve seen a number of people suggest that the current state of affairs in Egypt is proof that Islam doesn’t work. I disagree. In fact if anything, it proves that democracy doesn’t work. Then when there is an illegal coup that suits the ones with the physical might over the populace, it’s framed as the will of the people. If the will of the people could be legally expressed in that manner as an acceptable form of democracy, then the USA would not be stuck with the despicable government that it is today.

The strange thing for me is that we keep looking to have Shari’ah implemented as if it is something external to our personal lives and incumbent upon a government to enforce as a legal system only. I beg to differ. I’m  not a scholar, nor an Egyptian, and definitely not a political analyst, but it seems logical to me that if we as Muslims conducted ourselves as Muslims in a majority Muslim country (not just Egypt), then whether or not government enforced it, the principled benefits of Shariah will automatically be achieved. However, when we insist on viewing Shariah as something external to our individual selves, and we take a lethargic approach to establishing Islamic principles and practices in our lives while believing that national identities come before our identities as Muslims, then expect things to go horribly pear-shaped very quickly.

While the events in Egypt may have triggered these thoughts, it certainly does not apply only to them. Neither Shari’ah nor Islam failed, or is failing in Egypt, or in any other Muslim-majority country. Muslims are failing, and democracy was never a feasible option to begin with. If democracy was all it was cracked up to be, there would not be civil strife across the heartland of democracy in the Americas and Europe as we’re seeing it today. But we find it necessary to delude ourselves into believing that the will of the majority is automatically more informed than the will of the minority. If that were true, the majority of this world would be intellectuals and rational human beings, and retarded fads, ridiculous fashion trends, and horrific cultural practices would never stand a chance. But reality is clearly not on the side of democracy, or capitalism for that matter, both of which appear to be increasingly difficult to tell apart these days.

2 responses to “Islam versus Democracy”

    • Thanks for the comment. It’s reassuring to note that I’m not the only one that sees a problem with the way the events in Egypt are being presented, and worse still, how many Egyptians are defending this skewed presentation of it as well.

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