22 February 2010

Book chapter: The Criticism of Democracy and the Illustration of Its Reality

"The Criticism of Democracy and the Illustration of Its Reality" is an Islamist booklet circulating on the Internet. It appears to be the English translation of a section of a book written in Arabic by Abdul Qadir bin Abdul Aziz ("Al-Jame'a Fi Talab El-Ilm-Esh-Sharif", 1994; volume 1, pp. 146-55).

Abdul Qadir bin Abdul Aziz (also spelled Abd-el-Qadir Ibn-'Abdel-'Aziz or Abd Al-Qader Bin 'Abd Al-'Aziz) is the pen name of one "Dr Fadl", born as Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif/Sayyid Imam 'Abdel-Aziz el-Sherif, an Egyptian currently serving a life prison sentence in his native country. He is the author of three books, among them the above (alternatively spelled al-Jami' fi Talab al-'Ilm al-Sharif' and translated as "A Compendium for the Search of Noble Knowledge"/"The Compendium of the Pursuit of Divine Knowledge") and a one-time close confidant of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, like him a surgeon by training and his successor as Emir (commander) of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement (now merged with al-Qaeda). Dr Fadl, who is reported to have been one of the earliest members of al-Qaeda's top Shura Council and whose works are used as training manuals in terrorist camps, is thought to be "perhaps the most important modern thinker responsible for shaping the violent Islamic Jihadi movement" (although his latest book, written in prison, possibly under government pressure calls for an end to jihadist violence both in the West and at home).

The booklet thus can be taken to present an authoritative statement on democracy from a radical Islamist perspective. Currently, it is available at this link:


As is in the nature of Islamist websites, that blog (started only in December 2009) – and thus the booklet – may get taken down at some point. Should the link above not work anymore, please let me know. I can also send you a PDF copy of the booklet.

Excerpts: "We conclude from this that democracy ascribes the attribute of Uluhia (Godhead) to man, by granting him the absolute right to legislate. Owing to this, it has made him an Ilah (God) beside Allah and a partner to him concerning the right of legislating for the creation. This is no doubt a Kufr Akbar (i.e. a Kufr [disbelief] that takes a person outside the fold of Islam). To put it more precisely, the new God in democracy is the desire of man, who legislates what he fancies and desires, without being restricted by anything. [...] This makes democracy a self-established religion in which the mastership is for the people. In contrast, in the religion of Islam the mastership belongs to Allah [....]

"[P]arliaments are based on the disbelief in the verses of Allah, because their prime task is to legislate beside Him, Praise and Glory be to Him. Therefore, whoever sits with them is like them in Kufr. [...] [A]ll the kufr which the government practises – such as ruling by manmade laws and following the secularist method – the non-religious one – in both external and internal politics, in education, media, economy, or else – is decided upon by the MPs [members of parliament], who grant license to the governments to implement them. [...] As for those amongst the people who vote for them (MPs), they are committing kufr as well, because according to the parliamentary democracy, the voters are in reality delegating them so as to practice the mastership of shirk [idolatry/polytheism] – legislating beside Allah – on their behalf. Thus the voters give the MPs the right to implement shirk, and set them up – through their voting – as legislating lords beside Allah. [...]

"The result of the parliamentary elections are nothing but falsities and delusions, [...] democracy, with its parliaments and elections, is nothing but a deception [....] Therefore, it is not permissible to enter into the Houses (of Parliaments) [as MP] or participate in electing their members." (Originally bold text here italicized)

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