is Democracy Islamist?

Democracy comes from the greek words ‘demos’ (people) and kratos (power).  It means the power of the people.

Or does it mean the institutionalization- often by force- of western socio-political norms?

The rise of Islam-‘ism’ in Pakistan is democracy in motion.  It is the people voting with their feet.


This is the most telling quote in the article:

“Islamists in Pakistan have flourished in part because governments have failed to provide for people’s needs… Islamists fill the gap through their welfare organizations, clinics, mosques, religious seminaries and other networks. The impoverished masses then support their philosophies and political activities.”

Islam-‘ism’- whatever the word means- works for the Pakistani masses, just as Reagan’s “freedom works” quote rang true for his people at his time.  Islam-‘ism’, in that sense is not “taking over.”  It is winning the election being campaigned every day in every street and every home for the hearts of the people.  It represents them.  It takes care of them.  It is in them, by them and for them.  Islam has political implications and Muslims, it should not be surprised, will freely and willingly- that is democratically- democratically elect Islam-‘ist’ leaders.  Why wouldn’t they when they outperform their secular government, celebrated by everyone except the people they rule over?

One point should not be confused:

Democracy in Pakistan IS Islam-‘ist’.  Islam-‘ism’ in Pakistan IS democracy.

It’s what the people want.

If we question the grassroots, populist rise of a political movement in the face of corrupt, impotent, openly foreign-aligned government, then we question our commitment to democracy.  If we block such a movement, we, insofar as we value democracy, are hypocrites.

“Democracy”, we would be saying, “is for us.  Autocracy that we support for people who aren’t like us…”

Isn’t this the message we are sending?

One of the core tenets of democracy is  people’s right to be what other people think is wrong.  Allah Help us if we don’t extend them our full support…


6 comments on “is Democracy Islamist?

  1. If you can curry their respect, the chances of retaining them are greatly increased.
    This is a surefire way to instill resentment among those
    you are leading. Your vision can be small or earth shaking, but it must be absolutely clear.

  2. Pingback: going Secular? | qãhırıï

  3. Pingback: Is Muslim violence a proof against Islam? « qãhırıï

  4. in other words, i’m neither pro-Islam-“ism” nor pro-democracy. i don’t see islam-“ists” as being very islamic, and i don’t see that supposedly democratic governments live up to their name either.

    i have observed that islam-“ism” as it was described in the quoted article, is democratic (to the extent that democracy is seen as the political power of any people, not just westerners), and that’s what i was trying to point out. any supposedly democratic government that tries to stop populist/islam-“ist” movements, would only be showing their true colors to people who can see at all in the first place, and have not already seen them…

  5. Well, I don’t know much about Egypt, except that all Arab monarchs (meaning all Arab leaders) are shaking in their bones.

    If Islam-“ists” win, they will they will likely be as abusive of their country’s constitution, and the shari’ah, as their predecessors.

    By the way, I don’t support Islam-“ism”. I don’t even accept it as an actual word. Whoever and wherever Islam-“ists” are, they are mostly too ignorant of Islam, and too insincere of Islam to actually implement it.

    Every politician slings the slogan that will win him, her or them the votes (and dollars). Islam-“ism”, democracy, potaytoes, potahtoes, they’re all the same.

  6. Peace bruh, do you plan to write anything on Egypt and the protests there? Also what happens if Islamists win elections and then abolish the democratic means whereby they came to power?

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