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Democratization of The Muslim World PDF Print E-mail

Turkey, a great nation that had once led the Muslim ummah under the Caliphate system may yet hold the key to the major problems afflicting the Muslim world today.  Islam is being revitalized in a country that is well prepared for acceptance in the modern world.  If Islam becomes accepted in the West and the rest of the world, it is the adaptation of Islam to democratic values under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan that is mainly responsible.

Islam, in the conservative form that is being practiced in most parts of the world, has played into the hands of superpowers that have succeeded in portraying it as a reactionary force.  It is imperative therefore, for Muslim leaders to bring Islam to bear on the goals of good governance, political and social stability and more importantly, a functioning democracy.

On the positive side, a number of Muslim countries have been moving towards a  genuine convergence between Islam and the principles of democracy.  If there have been shortcomings, the fault lies in the existence not only of opposing views stridently upheld by centrifugal forces within Islam both internal and external; but also interference from countries that wield powerful influence aimed at furthering geo-political interests.

Merging the Islamic model with democracy has been the dream of reformists the world over.  Muslim leaders, however, have not been able to offer to the ummah a long term, viable and acceptable model of good governance.

Our fervent hope is that progressive Muslim countries like Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia that have emerged in modern times as functioning democracies that are sanctioned, validated and legitimized by religion, will be able to set universally accepted standards and benchmark for emulation by a world that is striving to strike the right balance between material development and spiritual values.

If democracy can function and co-exist with the teaching of Islam in every aspect of governance (in relation to the rule of law, education, financial systems, health care, administration and socio-economic development) and offer a viable alternative to secular democracies which neglect the spiritual dimension there is no reason to believe that the Muslim world will not flourish and emerge as a powerful force in a multipolar world.

It is therefore, important for Islamic leaders, thinkers and NGO activists in progressive Muslim countries to engineer the right mechanism to ensure greater democratization in the Muslim world. This can be an effective approach to the serious problems and malaise afflicting the global community today.

Future Global Network Foundation (FGN)

Kuala Lumpur

25 August 2009