To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who seeks to
mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence. God wants
us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; that is indeed the purpose
of religion, any religion.
The following article “Democratic faiths” is an excellent piece on roots and sustenance of democracy, however, the author exhibits his inadequacy in the research.
One of the most powerful sentences that has life altering effect on one is “finding the truth is one’s own responsibility”. It was a turning point in my life doing research on Qur’aan and the beautiful verse comes from Bhagvad Gita. If our feelings, opinions and actions towards others are based on the sayings of our Parents, Pastor, Pundit, Imam, Rabbi or clergy, then they are not going to be responsible for the pangs of our conscience in our solitude and hence we have to take responsibility to find the truth to find salvation from malice and ill-will.
It is ironic that the author flips the very words that Prophet Muhammad had said in his last sermon “No wonder that democracy does not find any foothold in nations that discriminates between believers and non-believers, men and women, masters and slaves and even slaves white, brown and black. “ The Prophet had said nearly the same words and added No man is superior to the other; all are equal beings in the eyes of God. The author has failed to understand and distinguish between religion and the people. All religions came into being to make us better beings and create better societies. Most of the people get it, and some don’t.
The Muslims around the world are waking up and figuring out
the effects of cold wars, the power struggles of nations to control the
resources and extricating themselves from these tentacles. 2/3rds of Muslims
live in democracies and about a 1/3rd under monarchies and dictatorships. The
largest Muslim majority nation
The freedom movement began with
The author flaws the religion of Islam without naming it. Democracy has its roots in Islam. The Prophet could have easily declared his successor and appointed Ali – who was the most qualified in every possible way to run the leadership, the only disqualification was Ali was his son in law and a cousin – and the prophet did not want it to become a dynastic rule, instead he desired the people elect the one with consensus. There is good research done by Dr. Abdul Aziz Sachedina on in the form of a book, the roots of democracy in Islam.
Author’s bias comes through when he subtly claims superiority for Hinduism and Christianity and shows his ignorance about Islam or rather Prejudice against Islam.
This is not how you build peaceful societies by creating bias against another faith. One has to find the truth, point the specific errors and not generalize it to suit one’s bias.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a
frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism,
# # #
by J. Ajithkumar
General elections, whether rigged, manipulated or impartial,
are the most vital and visible signs of life in any functioning democracy. Be
it presidential or parliamentary, democracy has been widely accepted as the
nearest form to minimum acceptable governance embodying the vital elements of
liberty, human rights and equality that are beyond-bargain parameters for
dignified human existence. The harsh reality that many world nations are still
suffering from greedy monarchies, military dictatorships and religious
theocracies makes a mockery of all our claims of progress in this 21st century.
There are several reasons for the flourishing or floundering of democratic
institutions in different parts of the world. The latest elections in
Though various forms of democracy are under trial in different nations, we can easily notice that it is showing signs of survival only in certain environments. The very spirit of democracy, especially in countries offering universal adult franchise, seems to be compatible only with certain types of people and faiths. The strengthening or weakening of democracy as a form of government among 200 odd nations with 6 billion people gives some clear indications about the real faith of democracy. One can also draw very good conclusions about the thought process, mentality and behavior of the people, nation and faith of those who prefer essentially democratic arrangements for governance. In contrast we can also get glimpses about why certain faiths are incompatible with democracy. There must be underlying reasons for both.
Enough and more clues about the reasons for success or
failure of democracy in different nations can be obtained by analyzing the
happenings in their recent elections. In the last one decade we have seen
presidential elections in
No election is perfect and the success of any democratic
arrangement emanates from the spirit and willingness of contesting parties to
accept defeat. Only if equanimity exists to accept defeat or victory on the
part of each and every contesting party, prior to any election, can the
democratic process end conclusively. Extreme contrasts in this regard are provided
by the reactions of an erstwhile Indian Prime Minister as against the current
stance of the â€˜defeatedâ€™ Iranian leaders in the recent elections. â€œOur
party may have been defeated but
There are certain basic incompatibilities between some dominant faiths and the essential spirit of democracy. The bare minimum belief that is needed for any favorable thought on democracy is the concept of equality of human beings. To accept anyone becoming the nation’s ruler, its majority must strongly believe that all of them have equal rights (even if they are not equals in every sense) and hence eligible to rule. In the case of genuine communism and theocracy, this concept of equality is non-existent. If workers are more equal than others in a communist setup, it is the rights of clergy to be more than others in a theocratic arrangement. No wonder that democracy does not find any foothold in nations that discriminates between believers and non-believers, men and women, masters and slaves and even slaves white, brown and black. The exhibition of universal brotherhood by hugging, singing, praying and preying together are only skin deep rituals in such societies.
Conceding equality to others is easy to preach but difficult to practice. It needs a strong underlying principle to accept equality as a natural concept. In Hinduism it is easily available in their belief of having the very same God present in everything animate and inanimate. And in Christianity it is provided by the belief that all are born as sinners. But having the very same starting point does not provide a good reason for considering other competitors as equal in the subsequent race for living. The belief that all are made by the same God does not automatically confer equality on everyone. Products can be of different value even if they are manufactured in the one and only producing company. It is difficult to consider them equal but there is no harm in having brotherly feelings that can subsidize, promote or confront the enemies together.
In very general terms it is easy to conclude that democratic
process succeeds only amidst some of the worldâ€™s dominant faiths, and fails
miserably in the case of others. The current turbulence in
June 28, 2009
Posted by Mike Ghouse at 8:46 AM 0 comments
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