Islam and Democracy
A book review on Islam and Democracy by John L. Esposito and John O. Voll, it is pointed out that the authors contend that the modern political institutions in Islamic nations contain a strong element of democracy that is manifested according to local conditions and the boundaries of the existing nation-state system. This has led to a range of expressions of democracy, which include the Islamic activists in power in Iran and the Sudan, revolutionary opposition in Pakistan and Malaysia, and the more clandestine Islamic movements as in Algeria.
The Islamic concept of democracy, however, does not fit the generally accepted definition that is derived from the political traditions of Western Europe and the United States. The authors suggest that the Islamic quest for greater political empowerment and an end to marginalization is a manifestation of democracy, and is supported by Islamic thought and tradition that values consensus and group selection of leadership.