The relationship between Islam and democracy in the contemporary world is complex. The compatibility of Islam and democracy has become one of the main questions of concern in contemporary Islamic political and social thought. The debate about the compatibility between the two has been a major issue and a popular topic of serious discussion that has swept through the media and political and scholarly circles worldwide, in the West in particular.

The Muslim world is not ideologically monolithic. It presents a broad spectrum of perspectives ranging from the extremes of those who deny a connection between Islam and democracy to those who argue that Islam requires a democratic system. In between the extremes, in a number of countries where Muslims are a majority, many Muslims believe that Islam is a support for democracy even though their particular political system is not explicitly defined as Islamic. Apart from Muslim intellectuals, Western academics have spent a significant amount of time on these questions, with a multitude of articles and volumes examining the compatibility of Islam and democracy.

Islam and Democracy is intended to examine Islam’s relationship with democracy from normative and philosophical viewpoints, examining how the established values and principles of Islam as reflected in the Qur’anic and prophetic traditions correspond to Western democratic norms and practices. The studies contained in this book contributed by Islamic thinkers and renowned authors around the globe.

It will also explore the ideas of several early modernist Islamic scholars as well as a number of contemporary Islamic thinkers. This book then shifts to examine the reasons behind the emergence of secularism in the West but not in Muslim societies, the origins of political secularism in the Anglo-American tradition, and the modern Muslim experience with secularism. In the 21st century, important interpretations of Islam open the way for political visions in which Islam and democracy are mutually supportive.