Secularism, Democracy and Islam
Secularism, per wordweb online is “a doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations”. Albeit, the meaning of secularism has regional differences in its interpretation. For example, in Indian subcontinent secularism is the celebration of plurality of various religions. India is a secular country under its constitution which awards ethnic religions and cultures to have their respective polities. On the other hand, the western progressive rhetoric seems to purge the influence of religion out of public forums and political institutions in their interpretation of what secularism means to them.
Undeniably, Islam as a religion did present its own secular stage during its reign. Appreciatingly, its representative model of democracy is upright, unfortunately that is clearly not the case with contemporary democracies. In that Islam restored immunity to both traditional religions that dissented from it and other civilizations to continue their forms of governances undeterred by its advances.
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Democracy, as seen in Islam is the Khilafa (Islamic Caliphate) which is undoubtedly an electoral system much regarded by modern Muslims and practised previously by Muslim legends. Muslims believe that God has encouraged them to resort to mutual consultations in regards to governance. Quran for them is their premise that frames essential legislation on social and civil fronts encouraging them through reason to implement it using best interpretation.
Whereas today, Muslims and other religious minority communities live in democracies wherein they empower majority represented candidacies supporting the idea of common code for social regulations. This in its outfit doesn’t sound discriminatory though, but essentially forces them to compromise their value systems from administering their dearly held ethnic socio-family laws such as marriages, divorces and inheritances to mention a few. Also as the minorities lose their precious edge on proportional participation to move motions per their conscience in that they fall out of their space to partake in active governance.
In the wake of recent mishaps in the democracy of India, the populist leadership have pursued a legislation to ban beef-consumption discriminating the minority consumers of their right to nutrition citing religious reasons despite their numbers amounting to greater than half a billion. If they had legislated such a law for a particular class of Hindus who in specific deify cows to abstain therein then it would make absolute sense with parallel laws for freedom of religion.
Having highlighted the discriminatory fate of contemporary democracies, I would like to bring to table the importance of embracing polities surrounding ethnic minorities. Spoiled Muslims in India preach a form of divorce to impeach women’s rights. These bodies have successfully acceded to maintain hegemony under the government who aren’t keen to uphold loyalty for securing the very constitution that enshrines India’s plurality. In these simmering times apparent conflict with the greater Muslim community is imminent who seek to reform this practice for good off its deformed version employed by royals for ease to own and disown women. Instead of facilitating democratic leadership within minorities Islamophobic government bodies capitalise on issue to manipulate the situation towards driving the agenda for common civil code covering socio-family laws of marriage, divorce and inheritance. Which does nothing but destroys the integrity of governance due to estranging communities under compulsion. However, Muslims concede to common criminal code towards pluralistic living but are disgruntled to give up socio-family codes for reasons as they stand a brink closer to Hell for every such non-conformity with socio-family codes.
It is certainly prudent of future democracies to diversify socio-family laws for such communities in good hopes to effectively apprehend their operations in suspended forms which does amount to unaccounted abuse and loss of integrity in the health of overall democracy.
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