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  • 12/17/2011

Religious Democracy vs. Liberal Democracy

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Democracy as a system of political thought and also a mechanism and management system of society is one of the few long lasting political concepts in political philosophy, which has especially developed in the last two centuries. As one of the most stable and longstanding political concepts, It has undergone a lot of changes. However, till date there is no agreement yet regarding the use of this controversial concept.

According to David Held, the history of democratic notions is complex and the history of democracy is confusing. Many believe that this concept is vague and contains several contradictions in it; thus, the political system based on it has several flaws. However, scholars like Fukuyama maintain that after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the weakening of the rival ideologies of liberal democracies, liberal democracy is the ultimate shape of government. But recent crises in the West have negated his viewpoint.

Many Western thinkers too find faults with democracy, but they state that it has ‘the least number of faults’ compared to other forms of government. Therefore, one should try to follow, and find the faults with this system. Because of the obscurities, conflicts, and shortcomings of democracy, one might infer that democracy should not be considered as a model for political systems and thoughts. The opinions of Western thinkers underline this point too. Given the fact that the liberal democracy model cannot be prescribed for all the communities and political systems, this model requires native, religious and cultural features of every society, as well as elimination of its basic defects.

The Doctrine of religious democracy was introduced after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. It is in fact a transformed form of the Western democracy that corresponds to our native and religious characteristics. This Doctrine has challenged the Western democracy.

Different methods and ways could be adopted to discuss the issue of religious democracy; for example, the political and practical life of Imam Ali and the ideals of his rule can be used as a model for a successful religious democratic government.

One can also use the verses of  the Holy Qur’an and the sayings of prophets in these fields.


Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi


Other links:

Imam Khomeini’s key role in triumph of the Islamic Revolution (Part 1)

Imam Khomeini’s key role in triumph of the Islamic Revolution (Part 2)

Imam Khomeini’s key role in triumph of the Islamic Revolution (Part 3)

Imam Khomeini’s key role in triumph of the Islamic Revolution (Part 4)

Khomeini Shakes the World 

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