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Rejected by Religions, but Not by Believers

Author: Reza Aslan, Adjunct Senior Fellow
October 4, 2012
New York Times


The question of whether Islam is compatible with democracy is nonsensical at its core, first because it ignores basic empirical evidence (the five most populous Muslim countries in the world are all democracies) and second because it presumes that Islam is somehow different, unique or special -- that unlike every other religion in the history of the world, Islam alone is unaffected by history, culture or context.

Anyone who would answer "no, Islam is not compatible with democracy" does not even deserve a response; this is merely recycling the same old tired and disproven stereotypes about Islam that are frankly starting to get boring.

The truth is no religion either encourages or discourages democracy. Indeed, because religions are in their nature absolutist, all religions reject the principles of liberalism and popular sovereignty that are at the heart of the democratic ideal.

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