What is a True Islamic Republic?

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Iran, Middle East Channel: Opinion

Recent events in the Middle East have many commentators frantically speculating about what the future holds for Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Iran, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and any other country whose citizens are choosing to rise up in protest. Across the region, people are bravely standing up, with many common demands - chiefly, social and economic reforms, as well as an end to rampant corruption and human rights abuses. Who could find fault with that? Unfortunately, a whole lot of people.

Among Western nations and their respective media outlets, an intense fear has been perpetuated as a result of these protests: namely, that of an "Islamized" (whatever that means) Middle East. In this case, world leaders and commentators seem to be on the same page. They are terrified that more regimes will go the way of post-revolutionary Iran and become Islamic Republics as well. Stop there.

Is Iran really an Islamic Republic? No. The mullahs and ayatollahs have created a brutal dictatorship that is about as legitimately Islamic in nature as the Ku Klux Klan is Christian. In fact, the protests in Iran (both in 2009 after the fraudulent election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and more recently this week) have shown the world that even the Iranian people aren't moving in the direction of Iran circa 1979. Far from it.

But does that mean that Iranians are turning away from their Islamic roots? Again, no. In fact, they are turning toward a more Islamic republic, or better put, a true Islamic republic. So too, others across the Middle East (whether they recognize it or not) are turning toward more genuinely Islamic states.

If Western nations understood what a true Islamic republic looked like, I expect that they wouldn't be nearly as jarred or frightened by the recent wave of popular protests spreading across the Middle East. A bona fide Islamic republic is one that respects the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, one that doesn't torture, one that eschews institutionalized sexism and honors human rights. But above all, an authentic Islamic republic is one that is both democratic and secular.

The Holy Quran, the only uncontested source of revelation for all Muslims, explicitly states that there should be "no compulsion in religion" (2:256). Key to all Islamic belief and practice is the concept of niyyat or "intention." And no full, pure and independent intention can be achieved under a theocratic regime, especially (as is the case in Iran) when that regime is trying to force its adulterated interpretation of Islam down its people's throats.

Thus, the phrase "Islamic republic" is an inherently misleading one, for a theocratic state is, by definition, an un-Islamic state -- not merely because it interferes with the establishment of the pure intentions necessary to practice Islam, but also because it assumes the impossible. To become a Muslim, one must make the following proclamation of faith, or shahada: "I bear witness that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His messenger."

As much as the leaders of the "Islamic" Republic of Iran would like us to believe that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, is the voice of God on earth, they are sorely mistaken. Why? Because la ilaha ilallah. Translation: There is no god but God. For Muslims, God speaks through the Holy Quran, which teaches that God is as close to any human being as his or her jugular vein (50:16). As such, Muslims seeking union with the Divine possess no need for an intermediary -- no ayatollahs or mullahs or even imams.

Muslims around the Middle East are demanding their rights today -- not just as granted by their constitutions or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They are demanding the rights guaranteed to them by the Holy Quran itself: rights to freedom, democracy, independence and yes, secular rule.

Source: The Huffington Post - Melody Moezzi


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  9 Comments   Comment

  1. omar from iran

    This article is full of error and just represent the views of FOX news and other neocon media. please don't play into the hand of the enemies of Islam.

  2. najjar from Morocco

    I see that islamicity didn't want to post my

    comment refuting Melody's oxymoronic and incongruous

    statements and her anti Iran stance. No problem, it's

    posted on another site :>)

  3. Imran Razi from USA

    A very superficial article rife with errors. If secular rule is the hallmark of a "true Islamic republic" then the Prophet's (saws)administration in Medina is Islamically illegitimate I suppose, for he certainly wasn't ruling based on secular laws.

    I for one am getting quite tired of the Iran-bashing by my fellow Sunnis. If Iran is a "brutal dictatorship" then the author really doesn't know what a dictatorship is. Who is the dictator, pray tell? Khamanei? Ahmedinijad? All the ulema collectively? I wonder if the author even knows how the Iranian political system works, or has just imbibed too much

    Fox News?

  4. paagle from USA

    Lovely sentiments. If only most Muslims felt the same way. Unfortunately most will believe as does Saifur Rahman. And I suspect that from a theological perspective he is correct. Strangely he says the cornerstone if Islam is justice. That is wrong. The cornerstone if Islamic rhetoric is justice. The true cornerstone of Islam is submission to the words and traditions deriving from Mohammed - and the enforcement thereof on all people.

  5. najjar from Morocco

    Islamic republic secular? How do you like that for an oxymoron? I have to admit that the author did a wonderful job in displaying her ignorance of both Islam and secularism. Islam is Islam and it is COMPLETE and PERFECT. Islam is not a cafeteria where you just pick and choose, and curiously enough neither is a secular system. The author has unfortunately no understanding of anything she is writing about to the point of being pathetic. Her hate toward the Iranian Islamic Republic creates confusion in her mind and we can see the pitiful result in this article. As brother Saifur Rahman mentioned Khilafah is the only viable Republic established by the Prophet peace of Allah be upon him, and only dishonest people will argue with its success, anything else that is or will be established in the Muslim lands is just doing un undoing, patching and re-patching and we will end up being pathetic and getting nowhere.

  6. Saifur Rahman from USA

    I am wondering what the author is trying to convey through this article. The example of True Islamic Republic is the Khilafah established by the Messenger of Allah and his truely guided Khulafa al arba. The world has seen its repeatation during Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz (RA). In a modern world a true Islamic republic will definitely reflect its citizen's will in terms of voting their rights to choose their leader, but a true Islamic republic will never allow people's sovereignty to violate Quran or Sunnah in the pretext of intention. Let Allah judge your intention and a Islamic republic will judge you the way you behave and the way it appears. The author is obsessed with a negative feeling of Iran's Ayatollah's and just parot the western media in reproaching Iranian regime. I would request be just. Justice is the conerstone of Islam. Read some literature of honest journalists (be it eastern or be it western or even American) before paroting FOX news for Iran.

  7. Stuart from Northern Ireland

    Excellent article. Knowledge always defeats ignorance and prejudice. I hope more people read this.