Apart from the fact that the original concept of democracy was conceived in ancient Greece, by a polytheistic society, i.e. a people plunged in ignorance and spiritual darkness (Jahiliyyah), it does not work – not even in the West! How much less then can it be suitable as a system of governance in this society, to which it is just as alien as the colonial rulers were, who had raided and ransacked the lands, and when they were finally forced to leave, had left their own decrepit political system as a ‘fare-well gift’ to a humiliated, uprooted and divided population.
To substantiate my contention that democracy does not work – even in the West – I would like to quote here an example from recent history: In the early eighties, when the cold war had reached its pinnacle, the U.S.A. was very eager to install nuclear medium-range missiles on the soil of its European NATO allies. There were massive protest rallies held against this undertaking by the people all over Europe, clearly voicing the opinion of the vast majority of the populace.
In England the then Conservative (pro-American) prime minister Margaret Thatcher had reached an all-time low in popularity ratings, and could only have expected a crushing defeat in the upcoming elections against Michael Foot, the then leader of the Labour Party, whose first priority on his agenda had been the prevention of the installation of the American missiles on British soil (which, had it realized, would have been a consequential democratic exploit). But it was not to be. The American CIA conned the Argentinean military junta into the adventure of invading and annexing the Falkland Islands, a small politically and strategically unimportant island group a few miles off the Argentinean coast, which were, and still are a colonial relic from the days of the British Empire. As soon as this was achieved, Margaret Thatcher was briefed to send the mighty British fleet to the South Atlantic to reestablish British dominion on the archipelago. A short military encounter followed, in the course of which 5000 Argentinean sailors were slaughtered, and at the end of which the Union Jack flew again over the Falklands. The victorious British fleet returned home with only minor losses, Margaret Thatcher had won a war, and her popularity ratings shot up to a level, only second to Winston Churchill’s, which of course resulted in an election victory too, and the missiles were installed.
In Germany a quite differently enacted, yet in essence very similar scenario went over the political stage: The very popular social-democratic chancellor Willy Brandt, who was against the installation of the American missiles on German soil, had all of a sudden to resign, when a Soviet spy was exposed among his close staff. The Christian Democrats took over power, and welcomed the missiles.
I must admit that I am not very well informed about the exact circumstances in Italy, but I find it hard to believe that it was a coincidence that there, too, at the same time, the elected government collapsed, and a 12-party (!) coalition government under the first ever socialist prime minister (in catholic Italy!) Bettino Craxi (who was later convicted on corruption charges and sent to jail) was formed, which for lack of unity amongst its ranks remained politically paralyzed for most of the time.
All of these are democracies, where – by definition – the will of the people is supposed to be the supreme power!
public opinion is like a flag in the wind, which, with the technological and financial resources at their hands, can be turned at any time in any direction
But let us have a closer look at this political creed of democracy which the whole world seems to subscribe to, and which is guarded by the high echelons of world-power like the apple of their eyes, but which – significantly enough – they themselves do not adhere to in the organization and dealings within their own ranks! The seemingly all-powerful guardians of the global democratic set-up, in the first place only admit such individuals into the corridors of power, whose credentials do not pose a threat, and if need should arise, public opinion is like a flag in the wind, which, with the technological and financial resources at their hands, can be turned at any time in any direction, as the above given examples clearly show.
If anywhere, especially among the Muslim nations, whom they always have considered a potential threat, an unforeseen, unplanned ‘rogue’ incident occurs, sacrilegious to their creed (the like of the coup d’état in October 1999 in Pakistan), those hierophants of universal democracy almost wet their pants. The entire international media is seized in a breathtaking frenzy, and immediately all the rituals of their trickery are initiated on every level and platform: economical blackmail, threats of isolation, slimy backdoor diplomacy, open and concealed offers of bribes and hypocritical public assurances of good will under the condition of compliance, one biting the tail of the other, in the desperate hope that one might work, and if things get completely out of hand, there is always the option of political assassination – judicial, i.e under the legal cover of an utterly controlled or bought judiciary, or otherwise, i.e. criminal – as the recent past has witnessed over again.
Why is it that the Muslims are particularly dangerous? The answer to this can be found in the Generous Qur’an. There is no such thing as democracy in its literal sense (the rule of the people/majority rule) in the Book of Allah, nor in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah – Allah’s Blessings be upon him. Quite to the contrary, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala disapproves in unmistakably clear terms at many places in His Holy Word of the very concept of democracy. To quote only one example: Surah (6) Al An’am, verse 116, the approximate meaning of which is to this effect: “… and if you obeyed the majority of those who dwell on the earth they [would] make you stray from the Way of Allah, they follow but conjecture and fabricate ought but falsehood/lies“. Furthermore, whenever Allah speaks of majority – ‘aktharuhum’ – it is invariably followed by a negative action or quality, such as:…most of them are ignorant, …ungrateful, …infidels, …have no intellect, etc.
The Noble Prophet – may Allah bless him – was ordered by Allah to take counsel in worldly matters (not direction or rulings!) from the wise and respected elders and chiefs of the community, as well as from experts in their respective fields – NOT FROM THE PEOPLE AT LARGE! – and then make his own decision – NOT TAKE A VOTE!
Mind you, we are not talking of Taliban-style “Mullahcracy” here!
Allah’s judgment and discretion as to whom He endows with leadership qualities and whom He gives authority is quite sufficient.
The people at large are but ordered to obey those in authority! And Allah’s judgment and discretion as to whom He endows with leadership qualities and whom He gives authority is quite sufficient. (Apart from that is it an inevitable requirement of Divine Justice and the execution thereof that no nation has worse leaders than it deserves, and if it seems like that, it should rather be seen as a wake-up call than as than some willfully imposed scourge.)
This is Islamic governance par excellence, ‘emirate’ with an advisory council (‘shu’rah’); it is the Way of Allah, and the practice of the Messenger of Allah. The rightly guided caliphs too followed uncompromisingly in his footsteps, and even the ensuing sultanates preserved and adhered to this principle. Only when this principle was abandoned, political turmoil, dissent and deterioration set in within the ‘ummah’.
Allah often uses the enemies of His religion to accomplish His wise purposes. With the developments in the wake of the horrific events of September 11, which jolted the entire world, and the subsequent political disasters almost all over the Arab world, under the ironic slogan ‘Arab Spring’ an awareness of the falsehood and corruption of the international creed of democracy, seems to dawn, not only among the Muslims, but even in the Western heartland of the ‘New World Order’.
In the ongoing debate among the much confused, Western educated Muslim ‘intelligentsia’ about the ‘political future’ of the Muslim World, the paradoxical term ‘Islamic democracy’ has been coined.
Well, if there is such a thing, it can only be the Islamic governance as it has been detailed above. Muslims have the right to be governed in this way for their own protection against inimical forces from outside and from within, even from self-destructive tendencies (the ‘evil-commanding self – ‘nafs ul ammarah bi_ssu’ – does not only exists at the individual level, but also collectively on the communal level).
The underlying reality of world politics in this present age is that traditional democratic ideology, the concept of which is a perversion of the natural order of creation, is the political dimension in the process of globalization, and has thus become part of a control mechanism in the hands of Shaytan and his human cronies, proclaimed as the “New World Order”, by which they seek to establish their pharaonic, exploitative and oppressive reign (in qur’anic terms: ‘taghut’) over the nations of the whole world, the ultimate aim of which is the destruction of mankind – culturally, intellectually and eventually physically too.
The herd without a shepherd becomes an easy prey for the wolves!
With the political sunnah of the Noble Prophet and companions – Allah’s Blessing and Peace abide with them – the Muslims have been entrusted with a power potential, which, if they realize it, is so powerful that even, if the whole world were to turn against them, it would not succeed. We have to guard this trust and put it into the service of its real Owner, otherwise He might take it away from us…beware of taking things for granted! We must denounce the false deities of our time, smash the idols, and purify the place thoroughly, only then the Divine Promise of the superiority of the slaves of Allah – those, who have submitted − over the false masters, and their inheritance of the earth can realize.
This post is an abridged and re-edited version of an Article written in 2002 by Shaykh Muhammad Harun.