The Islamic democracy

It is not our goal to exercise such a democracy which would fail to ensure human rights of the minority, but rather...we should seek a system that would give equal, best and most of the rights possible to the nation's citizenry.

What we see in Egypt today is not beyond understanding. As the islamists gain majority votes to elect a sharia compliant govt, rights of the non-muslim minority keep getting squeezed. Religious doctrines should play no part in political discourse nor should it be a part of the government.

Here is my favourite bit. James Madison, alluding to slavery, wrote,

It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.

A half century after the United States was established, Alexis de Tocqueville saw the majority's tyranny over political and social minorities as "a constant threat" to American democracy in his pre–Civil War travels. While visiting the state of Pennsylvania, when he asked why no free blacks had come to vote in a local election he was observing, he was told that "while free blacks had the legal right to vote, they feared the consequences of exercising it." Thus, he wrote,

the majority not only makes the laws, but can break them as well. democracy is conceived today, the minority's rights must be protected no matter how singular or alienated that minority is from the majority society; otherwise, the majority's rights lose their meaning. And this is exactly where a muslim majority country fails.

I wish to adhere to the secular values and this is my response to those moderate muslims who claim that an islamic country governed by islamic law can be both democratic and equal. Frankly, it is not. In the words of Stuart K. Hayashi,
In order to prevent democracy from becoming a tyranny over minorities, individual rights must supersede all democratic voting and all regulations. Rights must come first. Laws should come second, and only to protect those rights; nothing more.
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