Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

1879 WordsFeb 22, 20187 Pages
Islam is often spoken of, especially in the backdrop of the current prevalent terrorism of today’s world, as the religion of peace. In saying so, it is implied that Islam, as a religion, is opposed to warfare, extremism and terrorist activities. On the contrary, in the realm of political science, democracy is the system of government that is set up on a high pedestal. Democracy is not only portrayed as inherently virtuous, but is also a system that ensures peace and harmony in any region. Both democracy and Islam thus claim the right to peace, however, the fact that Muslim majority countries often adopt a non-democratic system of government creates a debate that has been fiercely relevant over the past century. While one group believes that Islam is strictly opposed to a government system that favours popular rule, the other stringently tries to establish the strong correlation between Islam and democracy. Bernard Lewis and Irfan Ahmed represent two voices in this dispute. Bernard Lewis article titled “Islam and Liberal Democracy: A Historical Overview" presents the argument that Islam, in its essential nature and teachings, is inherently opposed to liberal democracy. He first defines the two keywords of the debate – Islam and democracy, and goes on to give historical and contextual evidence for why both are not compatible with each other. In defining democracy, he builds on Huntington as a useful starting point. An account of the influence of the West in the trajectory of
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