Democracy and Islam

Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (4):459-470 (2011)
Abstract
The dominant debate on Islam and democracy continues to operate in the realm of normativity. This article engages with key literature showing limits of such a line of inquiry. Through the case study of India’s Islamist organization, Jamaat-e-Islami, I aim at shifting the debate from textual normativity to demotic praxis. I demonstrate how Islam and democracy work in practice, and in so doing offer a fresh perspective to enhance our understandings of both Islam and democracy. A key proposition of this article is that rather than discussing the cliché if Islam is compatible with democracy, or Islam should be democratized, we study the ‘hows’ of de-democratization in Muslim societies
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