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Democracy in Islam: comparative study of Muhammad Abid al -Jabiri and Abdolkarim Soroush’s thoughts

, PP. 253-272

Keywords: Islam, Democracy, Authority, Freedom, Sharia

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Abstract:

Using analytic and interpretative approaches, this research compares al-Jabiri and Soroush’s thoughts about democracy in Islam. T o assess Islam’ s compatibility with democracy , this thesis will analyze the issues of authority , sharia, and freedom according to the two scholars. Al-Jabiri and Soroush agree that the concept of authority in Islam cannot be interpreted simply as God’s sovereignty, but it also concerns human rights and sovereignty . A leader put justice as his/her central concern in practicing policies for citizens. T o pursue this hope, they also propose that sharia should be reinterpreted in order to be harmonizing in accordance changing circumstances and time. Al-Jabiri has different understanding with Soroush about the relationship between religion and state. Al- Jabiri sees that Muslims are free to choose democracy as their political life. He doesn’t agree the integration of religion and state. In this case, he doesn’t agree the implementation of sharia in the state. Meanwhile Soroush sees that religion has an important role in the state, so that he agrees the implementation of sharia because according to him it supports the political process of the state.

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