Presentation Title

Consultation and Community: The Relationship of Islam and Democracy

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

School

School of Sciences and Social Sciences

Discipline

Political Science

Mentor

Michael Welsh

Abstract

Samuel Huntington argued in Clash of Civilizations (1993) that Western and Islamic worlds would clash in the new post-Cold War era due to Islam's resistance to western liberal democracy and its values. Generalizations such as these are one of the many reasons why westerners are both anxious and attracted to the Middle East; however, the generalizations are founded on a selective analysis of evidence. This paper will demonstrate that Islam is not hostile towards democracy. The ideal Islamic State, as well as the central values of Islam are quite democratic in their nature. Empirical evidence rebukes Huntington's thesis, however, research on Islamic political thought is somewhat lacking in western scholarly circles. Instead of focusing on how the U.S. can make Islamic governments in its own image, research should be directed at understanding the political values of Islam and how they can be incorporated within a democratic framework.

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Consultation and Community: The Relationship of Islam and Democracy

Samuel Huntington argued in Clash of Civilizations (1993) that Western and Islamic worlds would clash in the new post-Cold War era due to Islam's resistance to western liberal democracy and its values. Generalizations such as these are one of the many reasons why westerners are both anxious and attracted to the Middle East; however, the generalizations are founded on a selective analysis of evidence. This paper will demonstrate that Islam is not hostile towards democracy. The ideal Islamic State, as well as the central values of Islam are quite democratic in their nature. Empirical evidence rebukes Huntington's thesis, however, research on Islamic political thought is somewhat lacking in western scholarly circles. Instead of focusing on how the U.S. can make Islamic governments in its own image, research should be directed at understanding the political values of Islam and how they can be incorporated within a democratic framework.