This book explores the character of the political transformation and democratic transition in the Asian Muslim world. It asks whether democracy is appropriate and desirable as a political system for non-Western societies, and assesses the extent of actual democratization in each of the countries studied, namely, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
The book questions the widely held view that the socio-political ethos of Islam as a religion, and/or of Muslim countries as societal units, prevents Muslims from adopting democracy as a form of government. The contributors argue that this perception comes from post-9/11 studies of Arab states and that non-Arab Muslim populations in Asia and Africa do not fit the same mold. At the same time, it is clear that a single model of democracy cannot work across these six countries because each country has a different history and treaded on a different path in the quest for democracy.
Ultimately, this book concludes that there is no fundamental incompatibility between Islam and democracy in the Asian Muslim world.
Chapter 3: The History of the Democratic Movement in Iran in the 20th Century
The History of the Democratic Movement in Iran in the 20th Century
Islamic Iran provides a very complex case for an objective and unbiased assessment on the state of democracy and human rights. Part of the problem lies in the fact that like most other Third World countries, its government claims a clean record as far as human rights and observance of democratic ideals are concerned, whilst its opponents claim an entirely different picture. In the case of Iran, this picture becomes further complicated due to the religious factor. The fact that the Iranian state adheres officially to Islam has caused many outside observers to assume by definition that there must be gross and ...