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Democratic Concepts in Islam

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Al-Nadwa Institute

3150 Ridgeway Drive

Mississauga, ON L5L 5Y3

Canada

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Democracy is a system of governance where public office is a trust of people and accountable to people, the rulers and ruled are bounded by a compact called the constitution; the judiciary is an independent institution to uphold the rule of law, the press is free to raise and form public opinion. It, however, runs into the risk of populism as witnessed time and again in established democracies.

Muslims, in particular, Muslim majority countries, have very new experience with Democracy. Hence, often voices emerge in wholesome rejection of democracy in particular among the elite with a vested interest in status quo. The counter-narrative is sometimes developed based on narrow interpretation of religious experience. In this talk with Professor Mohammad Fadel, we will explore the basis of democratic principles in Islamic teachings and systematically analyze the relationship between the two from the classical Islamic thought.

Speaker: Professor Mohammad Fadel:

Mohammad H. Fadel is the professor of Religion and the Liberal State: The Case of Islam. He joined the Faculty of Law in January 2006. He received his BA in Government and Foreign Affairs (1988), a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago (1995) and his JD from the University of Virginia (1999). While at the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Fadel was a John M. Olin Law and Economics Scholar and Articles Development Editor of the Virginia Law Review.

Prior to law school, Professor Fadel completed his PhD in Chicago, where he wrote his dissertation on legal process in medieval Islamic law. Professor Fadel was admitted to the Bar of New York in 2000 and practiced law with the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, New York, where he worked on a wide variety of corporate finance transactions and securities-related regulatory investigations. In addition, Professor Fadel served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the Honorable Anthony A. Alaimo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Professor Fadel has published numerous articles in Islamic legal history.

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Al-Nadwa Institute

3150 Ridgeway Drive

Mississauga, ON L5L 5Y3

Canada

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