Is Democracy Possible In An Islamic Society?

The German newspaper, Der Spiegel, raised the question as to whether it is possible for nations based on Islamic principles to actually possess a democratic form of government. It argues although there are “parliaments and sometimes even political opposition groups in many Muslim countries, abut as a general rule political decisions are based on agreements between tribal groups and families.” The newspaper cites the example of Kuwait which elected its first legislative assembly in 1938 and during the past seventy five years has conducted political campaigns and elections. Two years ago women were granted the right to vote.

There is evidence competent members of the legislature who display independence, invariably find themselves out of the running for the next election. The last election witnessed the arrival of female members of the assembly, an action which has resulted in conservatives becoming furious and refusing to have anything to do with the women. The emergence of a conservative opposition does not bode well for the survival of democracy in Kuwait.

Of course, Der Spiegel, ignored the Turkish democracy which is alive and vibrant. Muslim nations can become democratic as Turkey has accomplished.