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Democracy and Religion in Developing Countries - Essay Example

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Democracy and Religion in Developing Countries

In the Muslim world, particularly developing countries issues concerning political democracy are raised with special force because of the strength of the Islamic resurgence and the intensity of the demands in recent years which demand better political processes.
Before examining the application of democracy in Islamic countries, there is a need to analyze the significance of Islam in politics. Islamic politics according to modern Islamic movements and what history tells us is a combination of religion and politics for the reason that medieval Islamic civilization of the Umayyads and the Abbasids followed non-state structures based on the grounds of religious faith and action (Esposito & Voll: 4). This indicates that the true implication of democracy in the Muslim era was followed by the belief that the most pious person among the society was supposed to be selected by civilians as well as by his followers.

The current political culture of liberal secular societies never concern about God and never weighs God's approval or disapproval of their policies or behaviour. For this reason one can see that even religious political struggles and negotiations differ a lot when compared to those of the past. This clearly indicates that today's liberal democratic governments pursue people's happiness to the exclusion of God's approval (Sadri & Sadri: 122).

Democratic Political Systems
The concept of democracy followed in Islamic countries encompasses Islamic activist movements that challenge government while supporting others. What usually happens in this era is that in the political interests of Islamic revivalist groups, revolutionary opposition takes place which leads them either to ruling governments, or such movements may participate in the ruling political system as opposition movements. Many times it is seen that such religious movements are based as they are crucial part of the government or are themselves the ruling force in the political system. Such a perspective of democracy is based on a broad spectrum that gives us an overview of different situations within which Islamic democratization exists. Therefore such situations are: (1) revolutionary democracy to the ruling political government (2) legal or cooperating democracy that works within the boundaries of political system (3) active participation as a democratic government alliance which works with other political forces and (4) the system that controls and leads the existing political system. The above situations as practiced by most of the Islamic countries shapes the nature of emerging democratic ideals in the Islamic world as well as the developing and influenced new political orders in Islam.

Democracy in the Middle East
As far as Islamic law and order is concerned, it is severely implemented in the region except for the positive peace in the Middle East. Countries like Iraq, Iran and Israel are pervaded with armed conflicts in various types and forms like regional conflicts, resource wars, separatist and nationalist conflicts and irredentist conflicts. However some countries are influenced by other ethnic, religious and tribal struggles to the extent where their democratic power is heavily influenced under revolutionary and fundamentalist struggles. The peoples and governments throughout the Middle East are thus confronting pro-democracy anti-colonial struggles. Middle Eastern democratic trend follows violent conflicts and does not fulfil the criteria of positive peace in the region which is the utmost ground for building a democratic ...Show more

Summary

In this decade, where religious resurgence and democratization are considered to be the most important developments, there is a concern whether democracy works in Islamic countries. …
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Democracy and Religion in Developing Countries essay example
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