Religious Challenges to Constructing a Democratic Iraq

3439 words 14 pages
Religious Challenges to Constructing a Democratic Iraq

Table of Contents
Abstract 3
The challenge of establishing a democracy in Iraq 3
History of Iraq 3
History of Islam 4 Tenets of Islam 6
History of democracy 7 Christianity and democracy 8 Tenets of democracy 9
Islamic thought vs. the keystones of a democracy 10 Can democracy take hold in an Islamic Iraq? 10
Conclusion 11
References 13

Abstract Islam has been Iraq's dominant religion for centuries. The religion plays an important part in every aspect of Iraq's society, to include its government. A democracy gives freedom to a nation's people, embracing the many characteristics of
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Almost all the tribes of Arabia had converted to Islam in 632, upon Muhammad's death. Almost a century after the religions birth, the Muslim community would grow into one of the largest in the world (Gregorian, 2003, p. 11). The Qur'an notes coexiststance with Jews and Christians, and identifies them as "People of the Book" (Gregorian, 2003, p. 9). Muslims believe it was Abraham and his son Ishmael who rebuilt the Kaaba in Mecca, which is believed to be the oldest monotheistic temple. Along with Abraham, Muslims consider Moses and Jesus to be great prophets. Like Christians, Muslims accept the New Testament. However; unlike Christians, Islam did not sustain a centralized organization. (Gregorian, 2003, p. 14). The decentralization of Islam would result into two main sects; the Sunni and Shia. Through the revelations received by Muhammad, and divisions of the religion there is still common tenets. To understand the religion completely, an interpretation of the principles and characteristics is in order.
Tenets of Islam Islam is a religion based on pluralism. It is believed that the absence of religious professionals in the religion led to emergence of several different sects, which practiced the faith differently. This historically, and common day, has led to dispute and competition among these different sects (Ömer, 2003, p. 122). It seems the loan Islam requirement is that every scholar interpret the Qur'an in accordance with his or her


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