Reexamining Islam and Democracy Through the Wasatiyya Perspective   [open pdf - 815KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The primary aim of this thesis is to reexamine the Islam-democracy debate through the lens of 'Wasatiyya', a contemporary tendency in Islam that espouses centrist positions on religious, political, cultural and other aspects of society. 'Wasatiyya' asserts that Islam and democracy are inherently compatible because they share many defining features, from popular sovereignty and representative government, to separation of powers and freedom and human rights. Through documentary analysis of existing literature on Islam and democracy, this thesis examines 'Wasatiyya' arguments supporting the compatibility of Islam and democracy, and analyzes how these arguments stand up against contemporary measures of democratic standards. These methods are geared toward the goal of determining the 'democraticness' of 'Wasatiyya' in conceptual terms, while examining its real world application through the 'Wasatiyya'-backed Constitution of the Tunisian Republic. 'Wasatiyya' encourages Muslims to strive to use reason within Islamic guidelines. It views the issue of Islam and democracy as a product of historical struggle within Islam to fit with modernity. 'Wasatiyya' acknowledges that democracy has its pros and cons, but it is also convinced that today, democracy is the best form of government available that could promote the best interest of Islam and the 'Ummah' (Muslim nation)."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx
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