Magazine article New Internationalist

Note from the New Internationalist Co-Operative

Magazine article New Internationalist

Note from the New Internationalist Co-Operative

Article excerpt

'Islam in power' is a contradiction in terms, said contributor Ziauddin Sardar, when I first mentioned this issue's title to him.

The foundation for Muslim democracy, he maintains, lies in egalitarianism not in authoritarian theocracies. In fact, he contends, the whole idea of the Islamic state is un-Islamic, since the faith is a universalist not a nationalist movement?. Grassroots decision making is much more in line with Islamic tradition than authoritarianism.

I was thinking about this the other day while attending a service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. The sermon was about the need for community consultation and consensus, whose Islamic equivalents are met in the concepts of shura and ijma. Later there was discussion about how to re-invigorate the church and make it relevant in the modern world. Issues around women bishops and gay rights were the elephants in the room.

I was reminded of issues the 'Islamic world' is contending with - ones that we explore this month. …

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