When ideas are not free, people cannot grow, cannot hear new ideas, cannot make proper analyses and lack the mental development with which to distinguish truth from error. When ideas are not free, people feel pressured. They are quick to feel anger, and they are unhappy and respond to all initiatives with rebellion and hatred because they feel imprisoned by ideas. Communities that are miserable, frozen and uneasy are communities where there is no real freedom of ideas.
God loves peace and calm. God therefore describes in the Koran a system in which communities can live in peace. That system is democracy, which ensures security and welfare for all people regardless of faith or nationality. And this essential principle establishes the most modern way of governance through guidance based on the morals of the Koran.
As revealed in the verse “There is no compulsion in religion” (Koran, 2:256), the first precondition for democracy is the rejection of all forms of force. As we are told in the verse, “You have your faith and I have my faith,” (109:6), all ideas being free means being peaceable and libertarian, as revealed in the verse, “So remind them! You are only a reminder. You are not in control of them.” (88:21-22) As the verse “…be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives” (4:135) says, it is the responsibility of everyone to maintain justice, without exception, even if that works against one’s own interests.
The democracy in the Koran includes people of all faiths and all opinions, and forbids any assault against the personal freedoms, rights and beliefs. At the same time, order and justice is established in the society through consultation, listening to good advice, taking heed and acting in compliance with good morality. This is how mischief is prevented and any turmoil or uprising is unexpected, since all matters are resolved through good conduct, reason and conscience.
Our Prophet applied that model in an immaculate manner and protected all the rights of Jews, Christians and pagans under the Constitution of Medina, the first multilateral implementation of democracy.
Those people who talk about “democracy being incompatible with Islam,” even though the verses of the Koran and the policies of our Prophet are so completely explicit, are speaking of the religion of bigotry; that nightmarish belief – that does not originate from the Koran but was fabricated out of nonsense – has inflicted much damage on some Islamic communities, a sad fact that is easily observable. By eliminating democracy, employing force and compulsion and preferring hatred to peace, they have developed a terrifying pseudo-religion totally divorced from the true Islam. This is a false faith that believes the only way of spreading what it thinks to be true is by either silencing or annihilating the other side. That is why the religion of bigotry grows in direct proportion to ignorance.
Therefore, if a Muslim community wishes to grow and progress it must aim for the system revealed by the Koran; democracy, in other words. Administrations must be accountable to everyone and people of all faiths and opinions in the community must be able to live and speak their minds freely. There are two important conditions for democracy to function perfectly. The first is the spread of true religious belief, and therefore moral virtues: The second is for the legal system to be strong and capable of providing genuine justice. Two things protect democracies; the concept of moral virtue and laws. These two protective forces exist to defend the freedom of ideas against defamation and to ensure freedoms against verbal attacks and coercion.
Looking at it in that light, it seems illogical for some Islamic countries to be in need of democracy, or for the democracy in others to be in question; there is clearly something wrong in practice here. People under the influence of the religion of bigotry are always a force capable of obstructing a true conception of democracy in these countries.
In fact, the countries where people live by democracy in the most perfect, free and peaceful way should really be Islamic ones. Following the immaculate democracy enjoyed by the faiths and nations brought together by our Prophet under the Constitution of Medina, there should be no need to say that any country had failed in this. If Muslims were able to realize the true conception of liberty revealed by God in the Koran, and take a firm stand against the religion of bigotry, they would be able to establish happy communities and at the same time pioneer a perfect and democratic freedom.
This is also the only way in which to establish world peace and for countries to be able to come together as brothers because it does not seem possible for European societies to be able to include Islamic countries under this umbrella of freedom owing to their concerns of radicalism; only Islamic countries capable of applying the liberty in the Koran can do that. In doing so, they must be a model for some Western communities, with their own numerous deficiencies in human rights and values and in love, and must develop a system that also embraces them. They must do that by showing the world the love, beauty and unifying nature of Islam.
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The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily