6th February 2023
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Islamic Governance in Theory and Practice

This is a narrative of an ‘insider’ of the revolution of 1979 and in the Islamic Republic of Iran. “What went wrong in Islamic Republic of Iran?” is the major question that I am trying to answer. My response is ‘theocracy’, which entails an ideological understanding of Islam, misunderstanding of the key-concept of law, replacing it with decrees of jurist-ruler, implementing sharia as state law, having the dream of “Islam is the solution”, and ignoring modernity. My presentation is rooted in my personal experience of the revolution and Islamic Republic.
General Qassem Soleimani is worthy of appreciation for Iranians because of his courage in the battle with ISIS. This conservative politician as the head of Iran's Quds military force was the executor of Khamenei’s adventurous policies, which have structural problems and should be criticized. His assassination by Trump administration is wrong, problematic, and risky It will put more strains on the democracy and human rights in Iran. Assassination and bullying will never contribute to the establishment of human rights, democracy, and rule of law. Instagram has completely removed my page!
After explaining the identifying characteristics of traditional interpretations and reformist readings of Islam, this chapter highlights three underlying themes that are essential to the relationship between Islam and democracy: (a) popular sovereignty and oversight; (b) political equality; and (c) public decision-making. The chapter explicates how traditionalist and reformist readings of Islamic teachings have resulted in sharply diverging articulations of these themes. The two assumptions that underpin this chapter are as follows: Traditional and historical interpretations of Islam are incompatible with democracy. Reformist interpretations of Islam are compatible with democracy.
Three senior combatant jurists stood up in the uprising of June 1963 against Shah’s dictatorship: Khomeini, Ḥassan Qummī and Bahā’ ad-Dīn Maḥallātī (d. 1981). The latter two also protested against the Islamic Republic in its early post-revolution phase. Qummī was placed under house arrest illegally by his previous ally Khomeini since 1981. Maḥallātī wrote two letters of protest to Khomeini in 1980, and in January 1981 issued a pronouncement questioning the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic. The book is story of Maḥallātī’s struggle for reforming Islamic Republic.
My goal is to demonstrate how Muslims in twelve schools of thought, especially at the present time, understand human action within divine creation. In mainstream Islamic thought, the lesson of the Qurʾān is that human action is attributed to God and to the human agent simultaneously. The human agent has free choice in his acts. Human free choice and power are based on God’s power, providence, will and permission. In their existence and in all aspects and affairs of their lives, including their acts, human beings are not independent of God.
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