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Democracy and Islamism: An Impossible Marriage?

Author(s): Ricard Gonzalez Samaranch

Journal: Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals
ISSN 1133-6595

Issue: 84;
Start page: 181;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Islamism | democracy | law | religion | modernity

In this article, the author carries out an analysis of the way in which political Islamism views democracy, as well as its political action in countries where Islamism has gained control of the government. The aim of the article is to assess the plausibility of the theory that if Islamist parties win elections, they will impose a dictatorship of a theocratic nature. From a discursive point of view, the author notes that during the last few decades, most Islamistparties have shown a very clear evolution towards the adoption of democratic principles. The study of the six cases in which Islamist parties or movements have come to power does not offer conclusive data on the sincerity of most Islamist movements’ commitment to democracy. However, the fact that in at least one case – the AKP in Turkey – an Islamist party has not abolished elections after more than six years in power suggests that the ideological transition of political Islamism is possible.
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