Towards an Islamic Restoration
Having explored the concept of an Islamic democracy at a theoretical level, this chapter examines the underlying theological justification for it as well as how it might be practically manifested in specific Muslim-majority countries. Utilizing insights of ijtihad, the chapter notes that shari’a is far more nuanced than Islamists would have us believe and creates the conditions for legal pluralism. This legal pluralism is seen in the contending schools of jurisprudence in Islam as well as the fact that shari’a exists on two levels—siyasa and fiqh. Whilst fiqh constitutes the interpretation of legal scholars, siyasa belongs in the realm of the state. The primary purpose of such state law is the public good of all the country’s citizens. Such law is pragmatic and is not necessarily sourced from the Qur’an or hadith. As such, it is infinitely possible for a country to be Islamic without even being inhabited by a majority of Muslims. The chapter then goes on to examine four country case studies. Three of these—Tunisia, Malaysia and Indonesia—are attempting to promote an Islam which is both emancipatory and forward-looking. The fourth country case study, Saudi Arabia, however, seems to be undertaking superficial reforms for the purpose of public relations in an effort to endear it with the West and for the Crown Prince to consolidate his diminishing political power.
KeywordsIslamic democracy Tunisia Malaysia Indonesia Saudi Arabia Shari’a Hadith
- Abdulla, R. S., & Keshavjee, M. M. (2018). Islamic law in a globalised world. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
- Al Jazeera. (2017). Tunisia lifts ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims. Accessed February 6, 2019, from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/tunisia-lifts-ban-muslim-women-marrying-muslims-170914154657961.html.
- Ali, P. S. (2007). Human rights in Islam. New Delhi: Adam Publishers and Distributers.Google Scholar
- Al-Imara, K. (2018). The book on government (Kitab Al-Imara). Accessed August 7, 2018, from http://www.iupui.edu/~msaiupui/020.smt.html.
- Al-Munajid, M. S. (2016). Islam: Question and answer. Accessed March 25, 2019, from https://islamqa.info/en/answers/223275/in-the-battle-between-the-jews-and-the-muslims-at-the-end-of-time-the-aggressors-will-be-the-jews.
- Armstrong, K. (2000). Islam: A short history. New York: The Modern Library.Google Scholar
- Ba’rel, Z. (2019). Saudi Arabia’s new weapon against women. Accessed February 21, 2019, from https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-saudi-arabia-s-new-weapon-against-women-app-stopping-them-for-leaving-the-country-1.6940759.
- Badawi, A. A. (2005). Prime minister of Malaysia. In Department of Islamic Development (Ed.), Islam Hadhari: An explanation. Putrajaya: Department of Islamic Development.Google Scholar
- Bandow, D. (2018). Despite social liberalization at home, Saudi Arabia continues to promote Islamic radicalism abroad. Accessed December 19, 2019, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/despite-social-liberalization-at-home-saudi-arabia_b_5a37b28fe4b02bd1c8c6086f.
- BBC News. (2017). Copenhagen imam accused of calling for killing of Jews. Accessed March 25, 2019, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39885745.
- Benard, C. (2003). Civil democratic Islam: Partners, resources and strategies. Santa Monica: Rand National Security Research Division.Google Scholar
- Central Intelligence Agency. (2019). The World Factbook, East Asia/South Asia: Indonesia. Accessed February 15, 2019, from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/id.html.
- Channel News Asia. (2019). ‘Let the cancel’: Mahathir reacts to decision to strip Malaysia of 2019 World Para Swimming Championship. Accessed February 5, 2019, from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/mahathir-not-disappointed-world-para-swimming-championships-11176776.
- Cordell, S. S. (2018). Eight years after the Arab Spring, Tunisia is still holding firm. Accessed February 5, 2019, from https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/arab-spring-anniversary-tunisia-protest-uprising-mohammed-bouazizi-middle-east-a8687196.html.
- Dajani, H. (2015). Outdated religious laws must be changed, forum hears. Accessed November 29, 2018, from https://www.thenational.ae/uae/outdated-religious-laws-must-be-changed-forum-hears-1.12969.
- El Fadl, K. A. (2005). The great theft: Wrestling Islam from extremists. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
- Feldman, S. G. (2003). Are Jews who fled Arab lands to Israel refugees too? Accessed March 20, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/11/arts/are-jews-who-fled-arab-lands-to-israel-refugees-too.html.
- Francois-Cerrah, M. (2012). The truth about Muhammad and Aisha. Accessed April 9, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/sep/17/muhammad-aisha-truth.
- Freedom House. (2016). Freedom in the world: Tunisia profile. Accessed July 12, 2018, from https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/tunisia.
- Friedman, T. (2003). Longitudes and attitudes: Exploring the world before and after September 11. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
- Hoffman, G. (2018). Michael Oren: Obama rejected Iran green revolution for nuclear deal. Accessed July 12, 2018, from https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Michael-Oren-Obama-rejected-Iran-Green-Revolution-for-nuclear-deal-522585.
- Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (2017). Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands and from Iran. Accessed March 20, 2019, from https://www.facebook.com/IsraelMFA/videos/10154194858116317/.
- Jacobs, P. (2018). Inside the rapid rise and unprecedented power grab of Saudi Arabia’s millennial crown prince-who trump is about to meet with. Accessed August 30, 2018, from https://www.businessinsider.sg/who-is-saudi-arabia-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman-2017-11/.
- Kasraoui, S. (2017). Can Muslim women be feminists? Accessed December 14, 2017, from https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/12/235946/muslim-women-feminism-morocco-zainah-anwar-musawah/.
- Khan, M. A., & Rehman, H. U. (2016). Polygamy in Islam: A critical analysis. Journal of Applied Environment and Biological Science, 6(10), 138.Google Scholar
- Kilgour, D. (2018). Reforming Saudi Arabia. Accessed April 16, 2018, from https://www.theepochtimes.com/reforming-saudi-arabia_2489038.html.
- Kull, A. (2005). Piety and politics: Nurcholish Madjid and his interpretation of Islam in modern Indonesia. Lund: Lund University.Google Scholar
- Lamb, K. (2018). The bombers next door: How an Indonesian family turned into suicide attackers. Accessed May 19, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/19/indonesia-blasts-surabaya-family-from-good-neighbours-suicide-bombers.
- Manji, I. (2013). The trouble with Islam today. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
- Mantashe, T. (2018). Tunisia protests against societal reforms. Accessed August 7, 2018, from https://www.africanews.com/2018/08/04/tunisia-protest-against-society-reforms/.
- Mazetti, M., & Hubbard, B. (2019). Broad campaign to crush dissent in Saudi Arabia. Accessed March 18, 2019, from https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-saudi-arabia-s-new-weapon-against-women-app-stopping-them-for-leaving-the-country-1.6940759.
- Murphy, J. (2019). Silent slaughter: Media quiet as Muslims kill Christians in Nigeria. Accessed March 25, 2019, from https://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/africa/item/31824-silent-slaughter-media-quiet-as-muslims-kill-hundreds-of-christians-in-nigeria.
- Quraishi-Landes, A. (2017). How to create an Islamic government-not an Islamic state. Accessed June 14, 2017, from https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/how-create-islamic-government-not-islamic-state.
- Rehman, S. S., & Askari, H. (2010). An economic Islamicity index. Global Economy Journal, 24(4), 17.Google Scholar
- Roberts, C. (2018). Canadian PM: Sharia law is compatible with democracy. Accessed August 2, 2018, from http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/241567.
- Ruthven, M. (2017). The Islamic road to the modern world. Accessed June 30, 2017, from http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/06/22/islamic-road-to-modern-world.
- Samuel, S. (2017). What it takes to make Saudi Islam moderate: Can you curb religious fundamentalism by eliminating fake and extremist texts? Accessed June 11, 2018, from https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/11/moderate-islam-saudi-arabia/546017/.
- Sengupta, A. N. (2018). For Saudi Arabia’s young crown prince, no easy walk to moderate Islam. Accessed August 23, 2018, from https://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/arabia-prince-islam/.
- South China Morning Post. (2019). Malaysia’s PM Mahathir Mohamad compares Israel to ‘crook’ Najib Razak. Accessed February 5, 2019, from https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2183686/malaysias-pm-mahathir-mohamad-compares-israel-crook-najib.
- Stahlut, M. (2017). In interview, top Indonesian Muslim scholar says stop pretending that Orthodox Islam and violence aren’t linked. Accessed July 22, 2019, from http://time.com/4930742/islam-terrorism-islamophobia-violence/.
- The Amman Message. (2005). The Amman Message home: Summary. Accessed February 19, 2019, from http://ammanmessage.com/.
- The Economist. (2017). The future of Islamism: Can political Islam make it in the modern world? Accessed August 28, 2017, from http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/2172061-auguries-are-mixed-political-islam-make-it-in-the-modern-world.
- The Holy Quran.Google Scholar
- Wikipedia. (2019). Religion in Malaysia. Accessed February 5, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Malaysia.