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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Islam, Democracy and the State in the Arab World: A Socio-political Perspective

Alsoudi Abed.

Today the Arab world faces, as the rest of Muslim countries, different serious internal and external problems and challenges. Inside they suffer from poverty, unemployment, absence of democracy, human rights, lack of opportunities. From outside, they are subject to continuous wars, political and economic embargo, and cultural invasion, directed to their countries, morals and religion.
These external problems and threats became more serious after the tragic attacks on USA on 11th September and the negatives attitudes created by these attacks towards the Arabs and Muslims, thanks to some Western global means such as television, radios, journals, and Internet.
There is no doubt that Islam is reemerging as a guiding political ideology in most of the Arab and Muslim countries. This came as a result of the difficult political and economic conditions and the impact of modernization, a legacy of autocracy and corruption, and the resulting of social and economic hardships and despair. Islam promises Arab and Muslim people new meaning, hope and identity. Political Islam is expected to persist as a powerful movement and to seriously challenge incumbent regimes, at least until the underlying social, economic, and political causes of its appeal are addressed satisfactorily by these regimes.
This paper tries to achieve two objectives: first, to give a clear idea about the position and relationship between Islam and democracy. And to do so it has to consider and compare between some Islamic teachings and democracy from a theoretical perspective, focusing on whether Islamic teachings are compatible with modern democracy as broadly understood, especially with respect to shura, government institutions, leadership, freedom, equality, justice, and human rights. The Second objective is to shed some light on the double standard of some Arab regimes regarding their position from democracy, Islam and the West.


Alsoudi Abed  (Jordan)
sociology department
Jordan University

I am Associate Prof. at the sociology Department, Jordan University. I hold a Ph.D from Keele University UK 1986. I started to work in 1986 at the Center for Strategic Studies at Jordan University, then joined the Sociology Department in 1988 until 2000 where i got a teaching job at United Arab Emirates Unersity tell 2002. In 2002 i joined Princess Ragmah University college for one year Sabbatical. I published several papers on, sociological issues such as: political participation, crimes, Islam and Democracy, environment, social development etc. I attended and participated in several international, regional and national conferences and work shops. plz. see C.V.

  • Islam
  • Democracy
  • Arab States

(30 min Conference Paper, English)