Islam’s role in the political spheres of ICA’s and its connection to the western-style democracy

The idea that globalization has led to global democratization is increasingly commonplace, and is discussed in a fascinating article for the American Academy of Political and Social Science by Mustapha Kamal Pasha. Here he discussed how “economic globalization, global democracy, and a global commercial culture are closely intertwined,” specifically in relation to its effects on the Islamic world, and argues that “predatory globalization,” with its “emphasis on diminished state intervention in political economy” is actually leading to the demise of liberal democracy. Pasha particularly looks at the role that Islam plays in the political spheres of ICA’s (Islamic cultural areas), and how this connection makes Western-style democracy an impossibility. In his words, this impossibility lies mostly in “the degree liberal democracy is equated with particular cultural endowments and orientations.”

While I agree that the attempt to force Western-style democracy on an unwilling Islamic populace has contributed to the rise of religious extremism and popular support thereof, it seems to me illogical that this guarantees the inability for any democracy to thrive in these areas. This article was written well before the rise of the Arab Spring and Occupy movements, and it shows. Young and progressive Muslims no longer see their religion as an impediment to democracy, but instead realize the need to adapt Western-style democracy to a form that will work within the cultural and social constructs of their country.


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