Democracy in Muslim Societies: The Asian Experience explores the character of the political transformation and democratic transition in Asian Muslim societies. It asks whether democracy is appropriate and desirable as a political system for non-Western societies, and assesses the extent of actual democratization in each of the countries studied, namely, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
The book questions the widely held view that the socio-political ethos of Islam as a religion, and/or of Muslim countries as societal units, prevents Muslims from adopting democracy as a form of government. The contributors argue that this perception comes from post-9/11 studies of Arab states and that non-Arab Muslim populations in Asia and Africa do not fit the same mould. At the same time, it is clear that a single model of democracy cannot work across these six countries because each country has a different history and has tread on a different path in the quest for democracy.
Ultimately, the book concludes that there is no fundamental incompatibility between Islam and democracy in the Asian Muslim societies.
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