Quite the contrary, today’s Muslim world is very divided and chaotic.
The issue, therefore, is not breaking a monopoly on religion, but rather liberalizing various Islamic groups, most of whom are authoritarian in their own, often conflicting ways. The issue, therefore, is not breaking a monopoly on religion, but rather liberalizing various Islamic groups, most of whom are authoritarian in their own, often conflicting ways.
Lately, Ghannouchi also called fellow Muslims to abandon “political Islam,” along with its zeal to impose the Sharia, and embrace “Muslim democracy,” presenting an example and hope for the future.
There are many other prominent voices like him, such as the Iranian philosopher Abdolkarim Soroush, the Muslim feminist Amina Wadud, or legal reformer Khaled Abou el Fadl.
For anyone who values human liberty, the predominantly Muslim part of the world is admittedly bleak today. However, a part of the problem is related to Islam — or at least some of its current manifestations.
According to the global "freedom map" of Freedom House, a non-partisan organization, most Muslim-majority nations are simply “unfree.” While a few — including my country, Turkey rank as “partly free,” there is only one Muslim-majority country whose citizens may enjoy being “free.” That is Tunisia, the only country that was able to reap a liberal democracy from the tumultuous winds of the Arab Spring of 2011. In countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, Islamic law, or Sharia, is implemented, with harsh punishments on “apostasy” or “blasphemy.” As a result, converts from Islam to other religions such as Christianity can be executed, or secularists who “insult” religion can be jailed or flogged.
Many in the West who have pondered this question suggest that a “Muslim Martin Luther” would be the key to such a bright future, recalling the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Egyptian Salafists shout slogans during a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo to demand that Sharia, or Islamic law, be the basis for legislation in a new constitution being drafted for Egypt on November 9, 2012.
(MAHMUD KHALED/AFP/Getty Images) under a unified authority as the pre-Reformation Europe was under the Catholic Church.
That is especially in some other Western nations, such as France, with whom Muslim nations had much more historical acquaintance due to geographic proximity.
The rigid secularism of France, which venerates freedom and God,” as a friend of mine once told me.