Republicanism and Islamic State

Question No. 31

What is the relationship between Islamic State and republicanism or democracy? Is Islamic State inconsistent with republican and democracy?

“Republicanism” has no contradictions with “Islamic State”. Republicanism is a form of government consistent with various governments, as far as content is concerned. Islamic State can be organized in various forms, one of which is republican, which is especially appropriate for the modern age.

“Democracy” and the explanation of its relation with Islamic State requires a lot of study and review, because this notion has various degrees, models and forms; besides, the term “democracy” is used in different senses.

In summary, if we define the word democracy as “public participation” – which is called “methodic” democracy – it has no contradiction with Islamic State. Rather, Islamic State cannot emerge without this kind of democracy, or it may not sustain its viability. The “ideological and substantial” democracy or the “liberal” form of democracy which affirm every human will – even though it may be inconsistent with religious law – are, however, in contradiction with Islamic State.1

  • 1. For further information, see Sayyid Abbas Nabavi, Mardum salari dar hakimiyyat-e Islami; Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi, Pursishha va pasokhha; Murtiza Mutahhari, Piramun-e jumhuri-e Islami.