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Islamic Democracy: Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?



The debate over the compatibility of Islam and democracy has reemerged. There have been several events throughout the Islamic world that have renewed people’s interest in the debate. Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has rolled back the country’s hard-won democracy.

As a result, experts have raised questions about the success of Arab Spring. The Taliban government in Afghanistan has completed a year since it took over. They have not held any elections and there are no signs they will allow for any democracy in Afghanistan.

Further, despite Joe Biden’s campaign rhetoric against the authoritarian rulers of Saudi Arabia, he recently visited Saudi. Biden met Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) without any mention of democracy. Biden wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post explaining why he was visiting Saudi Arabia.

America seems to have accepted that Saudi rulers are not going to change. Therefore, the US seeks to promote its interest in the autocratic regime in Saudi. One wonders, what happens to America’s promotion of democracy when it comes to the Middle East? America likes to be known as the promoter of democracy. However, in the Middle East and various other regions, it prefers autocratic regimes. In the case of the Middle East, perhaps the West thinks that democracy is not compatible with Islam. However, it is not entirely true. Islam is inherently democratic.

The Middle East and Democracy?

A consensus is emerging among experts that the primary inhibiting factor of democratization in the Middle East is the “resource curse”. However, some people still chose to blame Islam for being inconsistent with democracy because most Middle East countries are Muslim majority and autocratic. More to the point, , it is well-known that the bulk of Midde Eastern leaders are more answerable to foreign powers, e.g. the U.S., than to their own masses, and value the “legitimacy” that comes from foreign acceptance more than which results from their people’s acceptance.

No one is gainsaying the fact that dictators of Muslim majority countries exploit Islam to justify their autocratic rule. However, their justification must not be extended to claim that democracy itself is inconsistent with Islam.

Iqbal’s Islamic Democracy

Dr Mohammad Iqbal, a renowned Islamic political thinker, came up with the argument that democracy is not only thoroughly consistent with Islam but is also an important aspect of it. Iqbal argued for an Islamic democracy. He argued that the Islamic democracy would not only face up to but also address the challenges of Western democracy.

For Iqbal, democracy was how it ought to be and not how it is in the West.

In his opinion, democracy provided more space to accommodate the wishes and aspirations of most of the people. If the principles of Islam are applied to the Western democracy, it can become more democratic. Iqbal was aware that democracy cannot solve all modern problems. However, he believed that it could be refined to at least to overcome some of these problems. He wrote:   democratic government has attendant difficulties but these are difficulties which human experience elsewhere shows to be surmountable”.

Loyalty to God, not to Thrones

In connecting democracy and Islam, Iqbal rejected the idea of the separation of religion and state. Laying out his vision of Islamic democracy, he based it on two important legal tools in Islam – Ijtihad and Ijma. Iqbal describes Ijtihad as “to exert with a view to form an independent judgment on a legal question”. While Ijma means a consensus on a legal opinion.

Ijma, in Iqbal’s opinion, is “perhaps the most important legal notion in Islam. It could be transformed into a permanent legislative institution. Since Ijtihad “vigorously asserts the right of private judgement”, it would be fitting to transfer the power of Ijtihad to a legislative assembly which until now remained in the individual representatives of different schools.

To avoid any kind of mistakes on the questions of legal opinion, this assembly would be guided by a committee of learned men called Ulema. These elected representatives had no authority, but they were just interpreters of divine revelations.

Also, since Islam doesn’t accept any authority, Iqbal argued that Tawhid, which roughly translates to the oneness of God and forms the bedrock of monotheism, lets Muslims free. The principle o demands “loyalty to God, not to thrones”. It lets “man develop all the possibilities of his nature by allowing him as much freedom as practicable”.

Further, this legislature would only be bound by a minimal set of rules. Therefore, people will do most of the decision-making. Through Ijtihad and Ijma, Iqbal proposed that Muslims could one day govern themselves free from theological constraints. Iqbal further held that the legal order had to reflect the will of the popular. It should mirror itself in society. It had to adopt current values and principles as long as they accommodated the constitutional limitations of Tawhid and the finality of prophethood.

Equity, not Equality

Iqbal also suggested equity instead of equality in his vision for Islamic democracy. In coparcenary in Islam, a sister gets half of what a brother gets. While defending this position, Iqbal argued that this difference was not because Islam considers women inferior. It is due to the social position that the women in Islam occupy. Since a woman gets dower money from her husband and the responsibility to maintain her is wholly on the husband, it was equitable that she only gets a half in inheritance.

It is important to take note of this argument. While Western democracy treats everyone equally, everyone does not start at the same point, nor does everyone occupy the same social status in society. Iqbal argued on similar lines when he pointed out that democracy in the West had not brought any change and rulers were exploiting people in the name of democracy. It was up for grabs and people with power had seized it, becoming the same old exploitation disguised as democracy.

It was this quest to liberate democracy from centralizing and hegemonic tendencies that led Iqbal to put forward his vision of Islamic democracy.

The antidote to Nationalism?

Since the fundamental principles in Islam are Tawhid and finality of prophethood, these liberate Islamic democracy from problems of territoriality or ethnicity. Further, it has just one Caliph, who is again not some authority but only an interpreter. Therefore, Islamic democracy establishes a global country in which the terms of nationality and race are only for reference.

As such, Islamic democracy introduces a new order which could well serve as an antidote to nationalism and could “furnish a model for the final combination of humanity”. This is important because, since the dawn of the modern democratic era in the late 19th century, democracy has expressed itself through nation-states and national parliaments. But this arrangement is now under assault from both above and below. Such a system puts national interests first while global issues take a back seat.

Nation-states have failed to resolve global issues like climate change and nuclear threat that pose an existential threat to the planet. In this light, the new order proposed by Iqbal through Islamic democracy deserves attention and could well address the challenges of globalization.


With the caveats of Tawhid and the finality of prophethood, Iqbal laid out a concrete democratic model of Islamic democracy. Based on the legal tools provided by Islam, this could provide for a more democratic society than that of the West which could provide people with the greatest freedom possible. After all, it does not have any authority but only interpreters; it does not seek allegiance to a state or a nation but to God.


Jewish Nazism is reality not fiction



Jewish Nazism

I realize that the title of this article might offend and provoke many people, especially those adhering to the Judaic faith. I do know that Jews, like everyone else, are not carbon copies of each other. There are many conscientious Jews who believe in fairness and basic human equality regardless of color, race and faith, and strongly reject racism and chauvinism in any form. Also, I will no longer be using euphemistic language in reference to Jewish Nazism especially in light of the latest Dresden-like bombing of Gaza by the Judeo-Nazi state also known as Israel.

Read Also: No forgiveness for Jewish Nazism

These people I salute for their rectitude, humanity and morality. They are our natural partners for peace and a better tomorrow for our children and their children.

But there are numerous other Jews who don’t believe in human equality and justice for all. Indeed, there are many Jews, e.g. followers of the hateful Chabad sect, who don’t even ascribe full humanity to people who are not members of the Jewish faith.

Needless to say, the venomous ideology adopted by these racist fanatics has much in common with Aryan Nazism.

Read Also: The futility of counting on the U.S. to pressure Israel

What else can be said to describe an ideology that teaches adherents that the life of a non-Jew has no sanctity and that goyem can be murdered without the slightest compunction or feeling of guilt?

The shocking reactions by the Israeli government, rabbis, and community leaders to the latest abduction, murder and subsequent burning of a Palestinian kids in Gaza are very telling.

In a certain sense, these reactions and attitudes can be compared to the reactions and attitudes of many Germans to the pogroms carried out against Jews by the Nazis prior to and during the Second World War.

The gleefully despicable embrace of the brashly hideous crime by the bulk of the Israeli Jewish society underscores the fact that millions of Jews in Israel and abroad do harbor certain Nazi tendencies, especially against the Palestinian people. These tendencies are too real and too tangible to be overstated.

However, we must call the spade a spade, even at the expense of upsetting the huge Zionist propaganda machine which habitually alters the black into white and the blatant big lie into a “truth” glorified by sheepish westerners who have long been brainwashed into believing that Israel is a modern, civilized and democratic state.

In the final analysis, when Jews (or anyone else) think, behave and act like the Nazis thought, behaved and acted, they simply become Nazis. Pure and simple.

Today, there are numerous Jews who openly call for the physical annihilation of Palestinians as retaliation for the abduction and killing of three Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Saber-rattling rabbis speak menacingly of the need to adopt “the Biblical way” to combat the Palestinians.

For those not versed in Jewish phraseology, “Biblical way” is euphemism for genocide.

Today, the Israeli media reported that some army personnel openly appealed to the government to “give us the green light to annihilate them.”!!!

Just read what thousands of Jewish youths have been writing on their Facebook pages! It is outrageous, disgusting and sheer evil.

To put it in a nutshell, Nazism is being regurgitated and exuded all over Israel. This is happening in broad daylight while professional liars like Binyamin Netanyahu are filling the ether with all sorts of shameless lies about Israel being victimized by the Palestinians.

Seventy-six years have passed since Kristalnacht. Today Jewish settlers in the west Bank, in close cooperation and coordination, with the Israeli army could very well carry out a huge pogrom against an innocent and helpless community which really finds itself very much in the same precarious and vulnerable position that European Jewry experienced prior to WWII.

I am not a prophet of doom and gloom, but the signs are unmistakably bleak.

A final point, the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are surviving thanks to the good-will of the international public opinion. Should the international community go into a brief slumber, God forbid, Israel and its own Wehrmacht, SS, Gestapo and Hitler Youth might embark on the unthinkable. Don’t you ever say Jews can’t carry out a holocaust against their victims, the Palestinians?

Words can kill; words do kill.

Unfortunately, the chilling words we are hearing from many Israeli Jews these days leave no room for optimism.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist and political commentator , we lost him on account of natural reasons on 12th of July last year in the Occupied Palestine

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I’m most definitely Palestinian!




In-your-face brutality, unending genocide, unending atrocities, mass slaughter directed against one’s people, one’s brethren, causes the most strong and unimaginable reaction, in response to the oppressor’s horrendous and barbaric deeds. The autocratic, despotic, tyrannical Israeli-hand systematically and with pre-planned engineered precision, massacres, annihilates, eliminates the young and the old Palestinian alike – in the most inhumane and most despicable of ways. Slaughters men, women and children in broad daylight. Bares its blood-thirsty intentions, its monstrous objectives in the most unashamed of ways. Mercy to none – not to the living, not to the severely wounded and dying; no mercy even on the dead or their lifeless remains.

The constant fear of being bombed anytime, rained down with missiles and all manner of munitions from within the vast arsenal of the Israeli side; definitely stockpiled high, with enough buffer inventory of munitions, deadly and lethal stockpile, to blow the receiving side multiple times over; so as not to leave a “shred” of evidence of your original physical-self on the surface of the land, which your people, generations and generations of your ancestors, since time immemorial have dwelt on.

Read Also: The age-old Palestinian-fear (of the Israeli thirst)

The inexplicable terror of seeing Israeli drones constantly “floating about” unopposed, in the skies above your unsheltered head. Drones with eyes like that of a greedy dog. Electronic pixels wanting to cast an evil eye, an evil-spell upon your very being. Eyeing upon your existence, wanting to blow-up, tear-up your physical being, seemingly wanting to devour your flesh and body; all by way of a few computer clicks / even the manual computer-clicks now, seemingly, are being replaced by more automated ways of executing these most evil deeds. Software, coded software, written programs to execute on the most Evil-intentions. Evil-intentions of the most evil amongst the human race.

Everybody knows, the Israelis have exterminated with their weaponry, uncountable numbers of Palestinians across a 40, 50km stretch of land, in front of the whole world, over the past so many weeks and months. And retain the capacity, the ability, the power, the means to slaughter, devour many, many more innocent ones, day in, day out.

The Israelis possess American technology, American weapons – the bedrock of their faith, the foundation stone of their belief in their never-ending invincibility. The Palestinians have their faith in Allah; that Allah will redeem his faithful people, from the clutches of these war-mongers, who rain down terror, day and night on the most innocent, the most vulnerable.

Most definitely, the Moslem spirit in me, the Palestinian spirit in me is not defeated; quite to the contrary, it’s rekindled, stronger than ever.

I’m definitely Palestinian, in every sense of the word, and Allah will save us, Allah will have mercy on us, Allah will guide us.

(Note: Azhaar Amayreh is a marketer stuck in war-ravaged Rafah with her child.)The following article is part of a campaign to raise money to help MZEMO contributor Azhaar Amayreh and her family leave Gaza. Please give what you can.

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The futility of counting on the U.S. to pressure Israel



It is really ludicrous to see how dishonest the U.S “mediators” constantly demand that the Palestinians display more “good will” toward Israel at a time when Israel continues to perpetrate a real Holocaust against the hapless and helpless Palestinaians and steal Palestinian land in broad daylight.

It seems amply clear that the current Palestinian leadership, i.e. the Palestinian Authority (PA)  led by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, neither learns from its own blunders nor from other people’s blunders. This is really a gigantic disaster befalling the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause.

How else can one relate to the unrelenting illogical insistence of the the whole world on accepting the U.S., Israel’s guardian-ally, as “mediator and honest broker” between us and our murderous tormentors and grave-diggers, Israel?

Read Also: The US and IsraelThe dog versus the wagging tail.

Indeed, one doesn’t have to be an expert on American foreign policy in the Middle East to know that the U.S represents the problem, not the solution, given its long-standing embrace of Israeli fascism and expansion.  After all, it is the US that not only enabled Israel to actively pursue its lebensraum policy at the expense of its neighbors but consistently shield it from any accountability or international condemnation.

Today, the U.S. administration is criticizing Palestinian “unilateralism” in reference to desperate PA efforts to get the UN Security Council to recognize Palestinian statehood and agree on a deadline for ending Israel’s Nazi-like occupation.

Well, we all know that the U.S. is being pornographically hypocritical when it accuses the virtually vanquished Palestinians of acting unilaterally as if its spoilt nefarious daughter, Israel, were ever acting in full conformity with international law.

Well, Mr. Abbas and Mr. Ereikat: Don’t be too gullible, too sheepish. Ask your American interlocutors, e.g. Mr. John Kerry, the following questions:

Since when did Israel ever behave bilaterally rather than unilaterally?

Was the usurpation of Palestine and expulsion of its indigenous people at the hands of Jewish terrorist gangs hailing from Eastern Europe, a bilateral or unilateral act?

Was the annexation by Israel of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights a bilateral or a unilateral act?

Was the building of hundreds of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as the transfer of 600,000 Jewish settlers to live on a land that belongs not to them a bilateral or unilateral act?

Was the wanton demolition of some 30,000 Palestinian homes by Israel a bilateral or a unilateral act?

Was the annexation of the bulk of the West Bank and East Jerusalem a bilateral or a unilateral act?

And what about this ugly structure, called Separation wall, which resulted in the theft of thousands of acres of private Palestinian land? Was it a bilateral or a unilateral act?

I could go on and on and on listing America’s hypocritical and duplicitous stands on Palestinian grievances and Israeli crimes. Indeed, the U.S dishonest stand on the Palestinian plight has only been consistent in its moral depravity. Indeed, hypocrisy in its most brazen form has always been and continues to be the modus operandi of American policy toward the Palestinian issue. I know it is politically incorrect to speak in this tone. However, truth must not be another victim of the dark evil embrace between the U.S. and Israel.

But morality is not and has never been part of American politics or policies, especially foreign policy. This is why the world looks so ugly, so gloomy and so unjust.

The U.S. is insisting that only a “negotiated” settlement to the Palestinian issue would be acceptable to the U.S.

Read Also: The Palestinian Authority: confused, frustrated and corrupt

In other words, Israel must always have the final say as to any possible peace deal with the Palestinians.

But since Israel would never ever end its occupation or dismantle the settlements, let alone allow for the repatriation of the refugees, it means there can be no negotiated settlement unless the Palestinians agree to surrender to Jewish Nazism. But that will never happen as Muslims, including the Palestinian people, would never allow the Ramallah leadership or any other leadership to commit adultery with the honorable Palestinian cause.

Let’s be honest. The purportedly honest American broker or mediator is neither honest nor a broker or mediator. The proverbial American judge is simply telling the insolent rapist (Israel) and the vanquished rape victim (the Palestinians) to sort it out amongst yourselves. Do we have to be the smartest humans on earth to understand the implications of this brutal ugliness?

It is tantamount to a total American embrace of Israeli fascism. It means that the American stance is actually Israel’s stance. It also means that that the U.S. would never accept or condone any settlement that Israel doesn’t accept.

That is why the Palestinians need to have a moment of truth with themselves.
And the message they need to internalize is that they would have to wait ages if they continued to put their trust in the U.S. to pressure Israel to walk in the path of peace.

Let us face it. Israel will never walk in the path of peace unless it is pressured and bullied to do so. However, Israel would never ever walk in the path of peace as long as it continues to receive nuclear submarines from Germany and the most advanced fighter jets from the U.S.

In a nut shell, America can’t and won’t exert any meaningful pressure on Israel to end its N-a-z-i-like occupation. We all know that Israel controls the American government or at least controls those who control the American government. Israel is intoxicated by its arrogance of power and Talmudic insolence. And the U.S., Israel’s guardian-ally, is not in a position to be an honest mediator and to impose a deal on Israel or even convince her to allow for one that would give the Palestinian a semblance of justice.

What should be done?

We must go ahead with our efforts at the U.N. Security Council, irrespective of American threats to veto any resolution favorable to the Palestinian cause. At least casting the veto would embarrass America itself and its treacherous Arab allies (they are not actually allies but cheap slaves and puppets as we all know).

We Palestinians must be confident of our inevitable triumph over Zionism and its evils. Yes, it may take time, but eventually Zionism won’t live forever in a sea where hundreds of millions live.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist and political commentator , we lost him on account of natural reasons on 12th of July last year in the Occupied Palestine

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