The common perception is that the Muslim World is going through a period of turmoil in which secularists are pitted against “Islamic totalitarians.” Majority of the non-Muslims have been led to believe that “moderate” Muslims and Islam is the best hope for finding a middle ground.
The Middle ground to some of these “moderates,” available in countless shades and types, is “Islamic democracy,” which is another manifestation of their loose application of the term “Islamic” as an adjective. Interestingly, thosewho promote “Islamic democracy” are the ones who appreciate the concept of separation of church and state.
We need to begin looking at the so-described turmoil in the Muslim World.
An impartial observation shows that the problems in Muslim-dominated Afghanistan and Pakistan are very related to the problems in India, where Muslims are a minority. These problems are also related to the problems in various regions in Africa and South America that may not even have a Muslim presence of any significance.
What makes the problems of Muslim majority countries different than the rest is the continued colonial dominance, intervention in internal affairs and in many cases direct occupation.
The Muslims have been foisted with ineffective political systems in every country where they make up the majority to ensure that they are disunited in fulfillment of the colonialists’ dream to undermine every possibility of the Islamic State coming into being.
The problems of Muslim majority countries are further compounded by the rapidly increasing debt that most Muslim governments owe to the World Bank and related institutions.
No government can thrive under such a burdens, regardless of its religious affiliations. Even if we were to impose some sort of a Turkish-style democracy or some sort of an Islamic theo-democracy driven by Muslim “moderates,” Muslim countries would continue to suffer the effects of lack of self-determination, foreign interference and killing debts. Thus, any experiments in government to satisfy outsiders would be mere exercises in futility.
Loosely using the term “Islamic” further complicates the issue. For instance, Islamic totalitarianism or Islamic democracy means some kind of totalitarianism or democracy that is sanctioned by Islam. Any totalitarian exercised in the name of Islam does not become Islamic totalitarianism, nor would any exercise in democracy devoid of facilitating an environment for living by Islam become Islamic democracy.
Then comes the most common argument that Islam as such is not evil. But its ideology and role in governing all spheres of life is evil. Let us not forget that secularism is as much an ideology as any religion. However, its emphasis on ignoring morality, leaves it to be the weakest of all ideologies. If we are to speak of some so-labeled "Islamic totalitarianism," so too must we speak of the "Secular totalitarianism" that we face today.
The heart of the Muslim problems is something that cannot be expressed in political language. The heart of the problem is a two-pronged crisis of Faith. One aspect is a general lack of Faith among the masses, while the other aspect is an abandonment of Faith among the educated elite, abandoned by-and-large for self-interest, parasitic and materialist aims. Simply, the Muslims are proving themselves no less capitalist than the capitalists.
The revered generation of the Prophet Muhammad and his immediate successors was a generation driven by piety and Faith. It can even be argued that the great Muslim civilizations of history, if they were not faith-driven, still built great, flourishing civilizations.
Thus, the goal of the moderate Muslim is to develop, establish and nurture a society driven by Faith, not by the fear of the Islamophobes. The point is that the structure of the government becomes secondary to this goal. Unfortunately, there is no model in the world except what was established by Prophet Mohammed PBUH and his immediate companions. Each of the major governments in the so-called "Muslim world," regardless of their claims, has drifted from this foundation.
A full range of political systems exist within the Muslim world – from out and out dictatorship in Egypt/Syria etc (for example) to relatively liberal democracy in Malaysia. It can be argued that the democratic political systems in place in the Muslim world are more successful than the more authoritarian ones. However, it is not a surprise.
Even the democratic regimes in place have not been a successful model that other Muslim countries are eager to emulate and all are predicated on secularism. The simple fact is that all the governance systems in place in the Muslim world, including Malaysia, contradict Islam and seek to marginalize it in favor of secular western models of statehood and statecraft.
This is demonstrated by the fact that none of the constitutions of the states representing the Muslim peoples is based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, indeed, none of the states in question dare claim that they are the embodiment of Islam or, at least what is needed to constitute an Islamic State or polity, facilitating Muslims to live by Islam.
Because the so-called moderates’ grasp of political aspects of Islam is so poor and because they carry the concept of statehood and statecraft inculcated into them in the form of non-Islamic western models, there is no hope that these intellectuals are a source of enlightenment.
Erdogan is no less an anti-Islam than King Fahd or Saddam Hussain (was) or President Mubarak as they all disobey the Islamic principals to rule and exercise power/authority (Al-Qur’an 5:44-47). Since Muslims are busy in rejecting the real Islamic model, it is a fantasy to suggest that a dirty hybrid between secular democracy and Islam is possible and will, over time, be acceptable to them.
As far the secular democracy, even a loose model like the one under Khomeini had clearly more support than any of the “democratic” nations in the world today. In fact, it is the democratic nations that are in a state of turmoil and totalitarianism given that they are in reality corporate-run dictatorships, with masses having no opportunity to choose a leader other than made available through economic monopoly.
The heart of success lies in bringing a system where man is not sovereign, because the results of that are too clear for us to see. A sovereign man decides what is right and wrong according to his interests.
Hence from genocides to open exploitations, colonialism is a constant feature of democratic states. Muslims never built gas chambers or systematic massacres of non-Muslims, they certainly would not have used nuclear weapons on a nation that was on its knees. Why? Because the Islamic state is not driven by man’s lustful desires to gain control of other nations by any means necessary.
Muslims in their history never had ‘highway of death’, the kind American forces created in 19911 in Iraq, shooting down and killing 200,000 defeated and unarmed Iraqi soldiers from helicopter gunships. Muslims never had torture chambers the kind at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay; Muslims never had torture chambers like Abu Ghraib except by the secularist “Muslims” who willingly became American puppets like Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, and Parvez Musharraf. In the non-Muslim world there are many more American puppets who became torturers for American government.
So genocides, oppression, economic exploitation and secularism would contradict the heart of an Islamic state/democracy. The Islamic state in the past never accumulated wealth, Mecca and Medina never grew wealthy, wherever the Islamic rule went to the prosperity was brought there. Countries were not looted to make the motherland wealthy.
A real Islamic democracy, even to thrive, would need to be able to exist without inheriting any of the debts of its predecessor puppet regimes.
Second, unless it is born from the faith of the masses and the elite, any attempts to implement any sort of Islamic rule will be an unwelcome imposition on a population not ready for it. Any sort of democracy cannot be implemented with a top-down approach, and an Islamic democracy is no exception.