Islam and Democracy in South Asia
Grounded in the Weberian tradition, Islam and Democracy in South Asia: The Case of Bangladesh presents a critical analysis of the complex relationship between Islam and democracy in South Asia and Bangladesh. The book posits that Islam and democracy are not necessarily incompatible, but that the former has a contributory role in the development of the latter. Islam came to Bengal largely by Sufis and missionaries through peaceful means and hence a moderate form of this religion got rooted in the society. Both militant Islam and militant secularism are equal threats to democracy and pluralism. Like democracy, political Islam has many faces. Political Islam adhering to democratic norms and practices, what the authors call 'democratic Islamism,' unlike 'militant Islamism,' is not anti-democratic. The book shows that the suppression of democracy and human rights creates avenues for the consolidation of militant Islamism, orthodox Islam, and 'Islamic' terrorism, while the 'fair play' of democracy results in the decline of anti-democratic form of political Islam. Md Nazrul Islam is Professor of Political Studies, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh. Md Saidul Islam is Associate Professor of Sociology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
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