Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in Islamic Countries

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A general view shows Egyptian anti government protesters praying at sunset on Cairo's Tahrir Square, on February 7, 2011, on the 14th days of protests calling for an end to Hosni Mubarak's regime. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

It’s been fifteen days since the protests in Egypt began and even longer since voices of dissent erupted in Tunisia. Across the Arab world, there have been unrelenting calls for democratic reform. However, some claim that Islam and democracy are too incompatible to function together. Can an Islamic state embrace democracy?

What will the intersection between Islam and democracy in the Middle East look like? Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies at American University and Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United Kingdom has some insight. He is the author of many books on the Islamic world, including "Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam."


Akbar Ahmed


Jen Poyant

Comments [3]


Let us hope, that the waves of popular democratic energy flowing outward from Tunisia and Cairo spread -- to Cuba and Venezuela.

Wouldn't it be great, if The Takeaway focused just part of the time it spends on Egypt, on the autocratic and repressive regimes that are our hemispheric neighbors?

Feb. 08 2011 09:58 AM
Gary from Brooklyn NY

Egypt, as it makes the transition to democracy, should consider many of Israel's principles and practices. In Israel, the holy places of all religions are open to adherents of that faith (and often the public at large). Marriages of all religions are recognized by the State. Citizens of all backgrounds can hold elected and appointed office.

Feb. 08 2011 09:19 AM

So Pakistan is the wonderful example of a "Democratic state" for Egypt to follow?

Feb. 08 2011 08:20 AM

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