Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 2, Numbers 3 and 4, Fall-Winter 2003


Islam and Democracy
By Omer Caha



Muslims have never sought to understand the nature of links between Islam and other systems of government as much as they have done with that of Islam and democracy. No such scrutiny, for instance, appears to have been made vis-a-vis the association between Islam on the one hand, and caliphate, emperorship or kingship on the other. Granting that the systems of government such as caliphate, emperorship or kingship which survived for a long time in the history of Muslims were indigenous to the Muslim societies, the question as to whether they accorded with Islam did not come out as a pressing issue. The ascendancy of the system of democracy that took Muslims by surprise was however received with apparent suspicion, since it was a Western construct being a political product of modernization, and the statesociety relations which it envisioned were unlike anything seen in traditional societies.

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