Perutusan Pengerusi IKIM
Pertamanya saya panjatkan ucapan kesyukuran terhadap Allah s.w.t kerana dengan izin-Nya laman web Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM) ini berjaya dizahirkan juga akhirnya.
Saya dengan sukacitanya mengalu-alukan anda melayari Laman Web Rasmi IKIM ini dan berharap agar anda semua berpuas hati dengan perkhidmatan yang disediakan.
Laman Web Rasmi IKIM merupakan satu mercu tanda bagi penyebaran yang berkesan terhadap "Kefahaman Islam" yang tepat melalui pelbagai usaha dan kegiatan seperti penyelidikan, seminar, bengkel, forum, perundingan, latihan dan penerbitan.
Arus perkembangan dunia ICT yang begitu pesat di dunia tanpa sempadan ini menyaksikan perubahan ketara terhadap ‘teknologi komunikasi' yang membolehkan semua masyarakat dunia mendapatkan sebarang maklumat yang dicari dengan cepat, tepat dan mudah.
Dengan terciptanya laman web ini, pihak IKIM mengalu-alukan era maklumat segera dan tidak terhad ini. Terbinanya laman web ini juga akan memberi peluang kepada masyarakat untuk memperoleh maklumat terkini, dan dapat mengenali IKIM dengan lebih dekat lagi.
Akhir kata, saya merakamkan penghargaan dan ucapan syabas kepada semua warga IKIM yang terlibat secara langsung atau tidak langsung di atas kerjasama dalam menzahirkan dan menjayakan penciptaan laman web rasmi ini.
Insha-Allah, laman web ini akan terus dipertingkatkan dan diperbaiki dari semasa ke semasa.
Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul HamidPengerusi IKIM
TAN SRI DATO' SERI DR AHMAD SARJI ABDUL HAMID - UKM PRO CHANCELLOR
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr.) Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid was appointed the new Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) for two years effective from 1 September 2006.
Born in Tapah, Perak, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji, 69, graduated with a B.A (Hons.) degree from the University of Malaya (1960); he received his Diploma in Public Administration from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague (1967) and his Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, United States of America (1971).
At the Federal level, he has held several important positions as Assistant Secretary, Federal Establishment Office; Assistant Director (Services), Public Service Department and as Secretary to the Cabinet and Constitution Section when Tun Abdul Razak was Prime Minister.
In 1973, he was appointed by the Prime Minister (Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein) as the first Director-General of the Farmers’ Association Organization. In 1979 he was transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department again to hold the position of Deputy Director-General (Sectoral), Economic Planning Unit; this time for two years.
In 1981, he was appointed to the post of Deputy Chairman and the Director-General of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA). In the same year, he was transferred to hold the position of Deputy Director General (I) Public Service Department, Malaysia.
He later took up the post of Secretary-General, Ministry of Trade and Industry in 1985 and as Chairman of the Malaysian Industries Development Authority (MIDA). In 1990, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji was appointed to the highest position in the government service as Chief Secretary to the Government and at the same time, was made Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service sector.
A prolific writer, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji has written several books on public service, Management, the Farmers’ Organisation, national development and national heritage.
He is also the Chairman of several organisations such as the Institute of Islamic Understanding (IKIM), Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), SPPK, Sime Darby Berhad, Golden Hope Plantations Berhad, Petaling Garden Berhad and Northport Corporation Berhad.
Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji’s significant contributions in the field of public service in Malaysia have earned him many recognitions and awards, which include the Director of the Year 1999 award from the Malaysian Institute of Directors and the Maal Hijrah Personality Award 1420/1999.
In recognition of his many efforts and contributions in the fields of administration and the public and corporate services, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji has been conferred honorary degrees by several foreign and local universities, such as the Doctor of Science (Management) honorary degree from Universiti Utara Malaysia; Doctor of Business Administration from the Nottingham-Trent University; Doctor of Letters from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak; and Doctor in Management from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
ENAM 6 BOOKS WRITTEN BY AHMAD SARJI ABDUL HAMID
Civil Service Reforms: Towards Malaysia's Vision 2020
Author : Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid
Price = US$ 39.00 Buy now!
This book represents a collection of ideas, notions and concepts extracted from the speeches of Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, the former... (year:1996, Cover:Hb, pp:140)
Malaysian's Vision 2020 - Understanding the Concept, Implications and Challenges
Author : Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid
Price = US$ 69.00 Buy now! The year 1990 marked the official deadline of the New Economic Policy that has shaped Malaysian economic and social planning since 1970. The form of ... (year:1993, Cover:Hb, pp:474)
P. Ramlee Erti Yang Sakti (Hardcover)
Author : Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid
Price = US$ 59.00 Buy now! Ensiklopedia pertama yang memuatkan sejarah kehidupan dan penglibatan seniman agung legenda P. Ramlee di dalam dunia seni. Buku ini dihasilkan berdasa... (year:1999, Cover:Hb, pp:400)
P. Ramlee Erti Yang Sakti (Paperback)
Author : Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid
Price = US$ 25.00 Buy now! Ensiklopedia pertama yang memuatkan sejarah kehidupan dan penglibatan seniman agung legenda P. Ramlee di dalam dunia seni. Buku ini dihasilkan berdasa... (year:1999, Cover:Pb, pp:400)
The Changing Civil Service: Malaysia's Competitive Edge
Author : Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid
Price = US$ 49.00 Buy now! This book highlights the major administrative reforms carried out by the Civil Service to make the vision a reality. It also provides invaluable insi... (year:1993, Cover:Hb, pp:240)
The Chief Secretary to the Government, Malaysia
Author : Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid
Price = US$ 49.00 Buy now! "This book succinctly describes the role of the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia in the context of a dynamic and changing civil service. ... (year:1996, Cover:Hb, pp:428)
HUMAN RIGHTS AND ISLAM
Speech delivered by
Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid
Chairman, Institute of Islamic Understanding, Malaysia
at the Second "Parliament of the Worls's Religions"
on September 4, 1993, at Chicago, U.S.A.
1. I feel deeply honoured to be given a second opportunity to address this august and
distinguished Second "Parliament of World's Religions". However this time I have been
requested to speak on a very pertinent topic of "Human Rights and Islam" which I feel is almost
overdue. I consider it so because Islam has unequivocally guaranteed the fundamental rights of
man more than 14 centuries ago, whilst other societies were still jealously guarding human
freedom to a restricted few until very much later. Indeed the international communities are still
wavering in their stance especially with regards to certain issues that are not in tandem with their values and interests.
2. Human rights have to be associated with freedom of self-determination and self-expression in
line with human nature and right to lead a comfortable and honourable life with untarnished
honour and dignity. It has to be based on universally accepted principles of equality, justice and
truth, that are permanent, unchanging and value free. It should be transcendant in nature and
character both in time and space. It should embody not only the individual man, but also his
society to accommodate his socio-psychological nature.
3. Self-determination should guarantee religious freedom, basic education, private ownership of
property, security of life and property, honour, respect, dignity and individual privacy,
irrespective of gender, colour, race or creed. It should also guarantee the sovereignity and
political freedom of nation-states which uphold the fundamental universal principles of justice,
equality and truth in their governance and treatment of their citizenry.
4. The principles underlying the conception and formulation of human rights should be
permanent, unchanging and unwavering in order to suit its trascendant nature over time and
space. Such principles should also be universally accepted so as to avoid any culture bound
regionalised values which are specific and particular rather than general and universal. These are necessary if we are earnest in our desire to strive for unity of the human race, harmony and
5. Islam has, since 14 centuries ago, delivered man with the conception of human rights that are
entirely in tandem with his dual nature of body and soul. A conception of human rights that deal
solely on the physical human needs will not be complete and satisfactory. Neither will the
conception that embodies the spiritual needs alone be sufficient. It is the recognition of man's
dual nature and hence his dual needs that is most pertinent and significant for the holistic and
complete conception of human rights.
6. Islam being a comprehensive way of life determines not only the belief system, but more
importantly the social, political, economic and cultural behaviour of its adherents. It influences
both the spiritual and material aspects of human life since there is no dichotomy between what is religious and waht is not. Secularisation has completely no place in Islam.
7. The conception of human rights in Islam have to emanate from its own creed, its own world
view, which is founded on the principles of Tawhid or unity of God the Almighty, Khilafah or
vicegerency and al-`adl or justice. Consequently, human rights in Islam embody his entire needs as an individual as well as a member of a society or more generally of the human race. The
complete guarantee of all his needs become essential for the performance of his duty as the
trustee or vicegerent of God on this blessed earth. This being the objective of human rights in
Islam calls for the fulfilment of the following:
a. Dignity of man as the best of God's creations to perform his
functions as the servant and vicegerent of God. This is in conformity
with the Quranic verse which reads:
"We have honoured the sons of Adam"
[Quran (17): 70]
It is the Islamic determination that the dignity of a human person
should be protected without any distinction between one man and
another under the impetus of the divine Islamic creed.
b. Equality is a very fundamental principle that underlies the
conception of human rights in Islam. There is no distinction being
made between one man and another based on race, sex, blood
relations, wealth, position, etc. This priniciple is in accordance with
the saying of the Prophet of Islam:
"There is no advantage for an Arab over a
non Arab, or for white man over a black
man except by piety"
In another tradition, the Prophet has been reported to have said:
"Women are partners to men"
c. Unity for the human race which aims at universality and global
peace and harmony. Islam does recognise the existence of different
races. But the existence of nations is neither of the purpose of
interdomination nor for the colonisation by one nation over another.
On the contrary, nations have to assist one another, on the basis of
mutual respect, for the purpose of crating world peace, properity and
happiness. The Prophet of Islam said:
"Human cratures are the families of God
and the ones who are most loved by Him
are those who are most useful to their
d. The call for acquaintance and cooperation for the common good
as well as for the performance of all kinds of righteous deeds
towards all human beings regardless of their citizenship or
This is in conformity with the Quranic verse:
"O mankind, we created you from a single
(pair) of male and female and made you
into nations and tribes that ye may know
one another (not that ye may despise each
other). Verily, the most honoured of you in
the sight of God is he who is the most
righteous of you"
[Quran (49): 13]
e. Religious Freedom. Islam distinctly provides freedom of worship
to all. I prohibits any exercise of force in this respect. As God says in
"Let there be no compulsion in religion".
[Quran (2): 256]
"Will you then compel mankind against
their will to believe"
[Quran (10): 99]
These sayings show how the use of pressure on man's religious
freedom is clearly denounced.
f. The right of ownership: Islam recognizes the right to private
ownership as well as the security and safety of life and private
It abhors any infringement of this right, as stipulated by
Islam through a saying of the Prophet:
"You are forbidden to attack the property
or the lives of others".
This prohibition includes the property and life of bothe Muslims and
g. The Right of Individual Privacy: House immunity is essential for
the protection of man's freedom and privacy. The Quran exhorts:
"O ye who believe! Enter not houses other
than your own, until ye have asked for
permission and saluted those in them; that
is best for you, in order that ye may heed
(what is seemly)."
h. The Right of every person to lead an honourable life: Reciprocal
responsibility among members of society, as to the right of every
person to lead an honourable life, and to get rid of poverty and need,
by levying a certain tax on the wealth of those who can afford for
those in need, whatever their needs may be.
This is in conformity with
the Quranic verse:
"And in their wealth the beggar and the
deprived had due share".
[Quran (51): 19].
i. Freedom of Expression and Information: The freedom of
expression and information cannot be separated from the freedom of
thinking and believing. The constitute a right and a duty for every
believer which should be carried out and maintained by all Muslims.
The relevant Quranic verse reads:
"O ye who have attained to be against your
ownselves or faith! Be ever steadfast in
sake of God, even though it upholding
equity bearing witness to the truth for the
your parents and kinsfolk."
[Quran (7): 135]
j. The Right of Education: Everyone has the right to learn and be
knowledgeable. Imposing education on every citizen is the duty of the
Muslim government so that ignorance could be eliminated from the
As the Prophet said:
"Seeking knowledge is the duty of every
Muslim, male and female."
Knowledge is power, as the Quran says:
"Ye can pass beyond the zones of Heavens
and the Earth, pass ye! Not without
authority shall ye be able to pass."
[Quran (55): 31]
k. Political Right: The Prophet himself has been ordained to practice
mutual consultation and democracy as borne by the Quranic verse:
"And perform your duties by mutual
consultation amongst you".
[Quran (3): 159]
8. Whilst recognising individual rights, Islam places equal emphasis to the social responsibility
of the human race. Social responsibility is indeed part and parcel of the individual rights because
of the diversities prevalent in man's physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional capacities. God
has purposely created some superior in one way and others in another, so that all require each
other by nature. This implies the basis for the interconnectedness and interdependence of life
EDUCATING ULAMA ON BIOTECHNOLOGY
The Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) will organise programmes to educate ulama in the country on biotechnology soon.
Ikim chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said this was important because the field of biotechnology was developing at a relentless pace and it was thus expected that a lot of religious and ethical issues would crop up.
Among the areas, which could raise a lot of issues, from the Islamic perspective, are artificial reproduction, transplant, cloning and genetic engineering.
Speaking after closing the two-day seminar, Ahmad Sarji said about 85 per cent of new drugs available off the shelf today were derived from research and development in biotechnology.
“So we need to involve the ulama, and educate them so that they have an in depth knowledge about this fields. This is important because they are important opinion leaders in our country,” he said.
On the issue of National Bioethical Committees, Ahmad Sarji said he would write to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Science, Technology and Environment Minister Datuk Law Hieng Ding on the matter.
Ahmad Sarji said his office would organise another seminar related to biotechnology next year which would focus on biotechnology from the Islamic perspective.
Thursday, 11 September 2003
2004 Report (Continued)
Session II—Participatory Governance: are Elections the Best Alternative?
Moderated by Seri Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid, former Chief Secretary to the Government and current Chair of the Institute of Kefahaman Islam of Malaysia, the second session focused on going beyond the question of whether Islam and democracy are compatible, to consider how democracy could be defined in an Islamic context.
What are the roots of participatory governance in Islamic scripture and history? What role can these traditions, such as shura, play in modern Islamic governance? Are elections the best method for ensuring participatory governance and, if so, what types of elections are needed?
Seri Ahmad Sarji introduced the discussion by challenging participants to consider the ways in which citizens in Muslim countries can participate in government: referenda, advisory bodies (shura councils), elections for legislatures, elections for heads of state, or some combination of these practices.
Ghazi Suliman, human rights activist and chairman of the National Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy in Sudan, began a discussion of the ways in which Islam has been used in some countries, for instance Sudan, as a means for suppression and the installation of autocratic regimes.
This, coupled with the censorship of moderate Muslim voices and increasing state patronage of religious scholars, has led to the propagation of a dogmatic form of divisive Islamic extremism, a form that rejects democracy, human rights, and good governance as devices of Western imperialism.
He stated that Islam is in fact an accommodating religion of moderation that maintains, at its core, enlightenment values of natural justice, humanitarianism, and mutual consultation.
If Muslims were to delve into their theological and historical heritage, they would find that Islam not only encourages but obligates Muslims to conduct their political affairs in a consultative manner through the shura.
This concept is enshrined in the Qur’an in two places. In the first, the Prophet is ordered by God to “deal gently [mercifully]” and not to be “severe and harsh-hearted” in governing, but rather to “consult with [the people] in their affairs.”1
The second reference appears in Surat al-Shura, where Muslims are enjoined to “answer the Call of their Lord, perform the salat [prayers]…and…conduct their affairs by mutual consultation.”2
Other than these two verses, there is no further mention of shura as a system of governance in the Qur’an, continued Suliman.
Islamic history, on the other hand, offers many different models of governance as practiced by the Rightly Guided Caliphs (al-khulafa ar-rashidun) and subsequent Muslim rulers.3
For example, while the first caliph, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq was elected through a pledge of allegiance, or bay‘a, by the people, other leaders were directly appointed, as was the case with the third caliph, Uthman ibn ‘Affan.
It is important to note, he said, that the variety of methods through which the concept of shura was practiced—both then, and to some extent, now—clearly indicates that there is no single model of governance in Islam.
Hence, from a jurisprudential point of view based primarily on the Qur’an, Muslims are free to implement any system of governance, provided that it is fair, just, and consultative. There is therefore no fundamental conflict between Islam and democracy.
Syed Shahabuddin, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and former member of Parliament, agreed with Ghazi Suliman, adding that democracy is not a trademark of the West and need not take any one single form.
The central premises of democracy—justice, the rule of law, the guarantee of rights and freedoms, consensus, and accountability, as listed by Ghazi Suliman—are also Islamic values, enshrined in the Qur’an.
Moreover, a key principle of Islamic jurisprudence is the “rule of permissibility.” This stipulates that whatever is not categorically forbidden by God and His Prophet is permissible for Muslims.
Under this doctrine, elections, ijma‘ (consensus), shura, and referenda can all be mechanisms for achieving participatory governance in an Islamic context. It is up to Muslims to select those methods which best suit their realities.
Abdel-Monem Abul Futuh, senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Maktab Al-Irshad in Egypt, concurred with the view that Islam is not averse to democracy.
He added that the concept of shura in Islam has implications for participatory governance that go beyond the more limited understandings of governance in Western political thought.
First, shura is an obligation upon all Muslims not only in the political realm. Rather, it must be practiced in every aspect of a Muslim’s life, including in the home and workplace.
Second, as the above-mentioned Quranic verses demonstrate, a primary condition for shura is that it be practiced with mercy and in truth. This ethical dimension of shura means that where consultation is achieved through coercion and/or in falsehood, the obligation of shura is unfulfilled.
Abul Futuh added that democracy as practiced in some countries in the West does not observe the same ethical values.
Instead, democracy is practiced alongside political hegemony, and even terrorism. In some countries, even though elections are held, citizens are anxious about expressing their opinions for fear of repression or charges of being unpatriotic.
In other instances, fraudulent methods are employed, either directly or indirectly; money and the media can manipulate voters’ views.
Asef Bayat, academic director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World at Leiden University, disagreed with the view that shura is a broader concept than democracy.
To the contrary, he argued that it is a misconception to limit democracy only to formal electoral practices. Democracy is a culture of political participation that involves both rights and responsibilities that must be encouraged at every level of society.
Moreover, a key pillar of democracy is its insistence upon the turning over of power, for this is what allows citizens to remove their rulers if they so wish. This, however, is not the case with shura.
Humam Hamoudi, senior member of Iraq’s Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution, agreed that the turnover of power is not a simple issue in the Muslim world today.
This is an important point for consideration, as is the need for developing political institutions in Muslim societies.
He said that we should go beyond a jurisprudence that focuses on the interests of individuals. What is required in Muslim countries today is a jurisprudence of the state, which operates at the broader level of national and societal interests.
Essam El-Eryan, former member of Parliament for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, disagreed with the view put forward by Asef Bayat. He stated that the underlying premise of shura is that it guarantees that governments respect the will of the people.
If shura is administered correctly, through mechanisms such as elections that allow for wide political participation, it can ensure the turnover of power when that is the will of the majority.
Fatima Gailani, member of the Afghan Constitutional Commission of the Loya Jirga and spokesperson for the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan, agreed with most of the participants that democracy and Islam are essentially compatible. However, she questioned whether this view is widely accepted in the Muslim world. She argued that there are Muslim countries where ignorance and illiteracy still abound.
In such places, as in Afghanistan, ordinary people are excluded from religious and political discourse and tend to accept the views put forward by their local imams or mullahs.
These religious leaders largely endorse literal or traditional interpretations of Islam, insisting that notions of democracy and human rights are Western constructs and are categorically forbidden in Islam where sovereignty resides with God alone.
Muslims are made to believe that they will go to Hell if they vote in elections—and that they have no option but to follow the divine law, of which the mullahs serve as guardians.
In the ensuing debate, some participants agreed with this view, while others questioned the exact nature of the “Islamic” knowledge that would be advanced through the proposed educational programs.
Would this knowledge be limited to certain interpretations of Islam and exclude others? Similarly, several participants, including Anil Seal, director of the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre of Cambridge University, expressed reservations, maintaining that participatory governance in the Muslim world cannot be delayed until all the educational and economic needs of society are met.
Citizens must have a role in determining how they want these needs to be satisfied in the first place, and this can only be guaranteed through electoral democracy.
In agreement with Anil Seal, Khalid Al-Mubarak, a Sudanese scholar, author, and analytical commentator on Islamic politics, warned that we can no longer continue to simply pay lip service to the idea of democracy in the Muslim world. If there is such a clear consensus that Islam and democracy are compatible, and that an “Islamic” democracy can deliver all the requirements of good governance, then why is the Muslim world today facing such problems?
He maintained that he does not dispute the fundamental compatibility of democracy and Islam, or the plausibility of developing just, Islam-based systems of governance that ensure citizen participation.
The reality in the Muslim world is, however, that Islamist groups and governments have repeatedly hijacked the political process, deposed democratically elected governments, and oppressed populations—all in the name of Islam.
In return, these groups have promised to institute “Islamic” systems of government that are authentic, indigenous, and non-Western, and that meet the needs of the people.
At best, they have failed to deliver this Islamic ideal; at worst, they have used it simply to mask their despotism. In line with Syed Shahabuddin, Al-Mubarak insisted that formal democracy could be a viable way forward in the Muslim world, precisely because of its aforementioned compatibility with Islam.
He added that democracy is a universally accepted system of governance that, despite some limitations, works well overall. Muslims must recognize that we do not exist in isolation, but as part of a global community.
On the basis of the Qur’an, which requires us to live harmoniously with other nations and to honor our agreements, we are bound to adhere to international standards.
Having discussed participatory governance and Islam on a conceptual basis, the session then focused on the question of whether elections, as a mechanism, are the best alternative.
Participants acknowledged that elections as a process of ensuring participatory governance can be imperfect and may not always lead to fair results. Shri J.M. Lyngdoh, former chief election commissioner of India, cautioned that elections, like economic competition, produce winners, but these are not necessarily the best candidates, morally speaking.
The biggest drawback to democracy, he explained, is that elected representatives may not consider good governance their objective and may seek to usurp the electoral process in order to satisfy their own interests—and this unfortunately tarnishes the democratic ideal.
Furthermore, he added, in many cases democracy does not conform to the classical model of citizens directly electing their representatives; instead, leaders are chosen by caucuses, which limits competition.
Seri Ahmad Sarji responded that although elections are not perfect tools for democracy, they reinforce the relationship between the people and their leaders, empowering citizens to remove and replace their governments in a peaceful and orderly manner.
The only basis for a peaceful society is providing people with the opportunity to express their opinions and their will, and elections are instrumental in doing so.
He put forward the example of Malaysia as an ethnically and religiously diverse country where open political participation has managed—to a large degree—to moderate sectarian conflict by ensuring that all social groups are given a voice.
The Malaysian electoral system is administered by an independent electoral commission that inter alia, delineates electoral constituencies, handles voter registration, conducts elections, counts votes, and resolves claims and objections from candidates and voters.
This guarantees the integrity of the electoral process to the extent that Islamic groups do not contest the process. On the contrary, Islamic parties have secured substantial majorities through elections and currently govern two of Malaysia’s thirteen states.4
Syed Shahabbudin commended the Malaysian example, adding that in countries where Muslims are in the minority—and, as in India, constitute a large percentage of the world’s total Muslim population—there can be no alternative to elections as a means of ensuring Muslims’ rights.
Returning to the question of elections and Islam, Essam El-Eryan argued that elections could properly be considered Islamic if their outcome is fair.
In some countries, the electoral system does not take into consideration, or formally excludes, certain political groups on the basis of their tribal or religious affiliation or simply because they constitute a minority. Such exclusions come into effect especially when the interests of those groups challenge the position of those in power. Islam, he insisted, condemns such political repression.
Mohamed Charfi, former Tunisian minister of education and professor of international law at the University of Tunis, noted that while the electoral principle has been accepted in some countries, there still exist a number of structural issues that can impede participatory governance.
For example, there are many cases in which an elected parliament has only limited legislative power.
This, coupled with the role of the clergy as an influential group in national politics, has, in some instances (and especially on matters relating to gender equality), mitigated the constitutional role of the legislative body as representative of the people.
He concluded that formal elections that are not supported by democratically sound structures cannot deliver true participatory democracy.
The integrity of the ballot box must be combined with the impartiality of government institutions if an accurate representation of the will of the people is to be realized.
In conclusion, the session found that Islam and democracy are not antithetical, and that the principle of shura, or mutual consultation, premised on the notions of justice and mercy enshrined in the Qur’an, can be interpreted in a way that encourages participatory governance.
A somewhat different view was expressed by Nouri Mohammed, senior member of Al-Da’wa Islamic Party in Iraq, who maintained that good governance, both in principle and in practice, is not universal but culturally specific; he warned that creating a mixture of different ideologies might lead to confusion.
When we speak of democracy in the Muslim world, he insisted, we need to speak of it only in Islamic terms.
As to the question of whether elections constitute the only means of achieving participatory governance, most participants agreed that elections define the concept of citizenship, and are therefore an acceptable apparatus for achieving democracy, provided that certain principles are adopted.
These principles include respect for human dignity, for the beliefs of all citizens, for the public’s will, and for the rule of law. There was consensus that for electoral democracy to be effective as a true expression of the will of the people, elections should be free, which should be ensured by the electoral process.
Moreover, due consideration should be given to election expenses and the participation of minority and interest groups. When electing a head of state there should be more than one candidate, and electoral procedures should make the government accountable and removable in cases in which it fails to act in accordance with the will of the people.
Finally, some participants made reference to geopolitical concerns that they felt must be adequately addressed if there is to be any real prospect for democracy in the Muslim world.
Noteworthy among these were the predicaments of the Chechen and Palestinian peoples, who, in the views of many participants, continue to face oppression and the denial of their rights to self-determination and statehood.
- TAN SRI DATUK SERI DR AISHAH GHANI
- TAN SRI DATO’ SERI DR AHMAD SARJI ABDUL HAMID
- INSTITUT KEFAHAMAN ISLAM MALAYSIA
- MANIFESTO BN PRU12
- SIME DARBY
- JADIKAN JPN KAYU UKUR DALAM SISTEM PENYAMPAIAN
- TAN SRI DATUK SERI DR AISHAH GHANI
- PROFESOR DR BOHARI ISMAIL
- TUN ABDUL RAHMAN YAAKUB
- WATSON NYAMBEK
- SENARAI KAWASAN DAN CALON DI KELANTAN
- DATO’ ABDUL RAHMAN PALIL
- SENARAI CALON BN DI SARAWAK
- PBS BUAT PINDAAN PADA SAAT-SAAT AKHIR TERHADAP SEN...
- SENARAI CALON MIC SELURUH NEGARA
- GELOMBANG MANDAT: APA KEJUTAN BARU MENJELANG HARI ...
- TAHANAN ISA BOLEH BERTANDING PADA PILIHAN RAYA, KA...
- HAMPIR SEMUA ANGGOTA KABINET ABDULLAH BERTANDING P...
- M NASIR YUSOF
- PENGUNDI KELANTAN TIDAK LAGI DILANDA DILEMA
- GOLONGAN MUDA – KUASA YANG PERLU DIPERHATI
- KEPIMPINAN BERWIBAWA
- SENARAI CALON BN DI PERLIS
- SENARAI CALON BN DI JOHOR
- SENARAI CALON DAP DI WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN
- SENARAI CALON DAP DI SELANGOR
- SENARAI CALON DAP DI PULAU PINANG
- SENARAI CALON PAS DI MELAKA
- SENARAI CALON PAS DI SELANGOR PRU12
- DR SARJIT SINGH
- DATUK WONG CHUN WAI
- DATUK HAJI ABDUL AZIZ SINGAH
- TAN SRI LEE LAM THAY
- PROFESOR BUKHARI ISMAIL
- JENIRI AMIR
- PROFESOR MADYA DR JUSANG BOLONG
- DATO' A ZIZ DERAMAN Mantan Ketua Pengarah Dewan Ba...
- FOMCA Persekutuan Persatuan Pengguna Malaysia Sh...
- S. OTHMAN KELANTAN
- DR ZURINAH HASSAN
- PROFESOR DATUK DR LATIFF ABU BAKAR
- PERSATUAN SIVIK INDIA MALAYSIA
- ISHAK ABDUL HAMID
- TAN SRI M MAHALINGAM
- TUN MUSA HITAM
- DATUK ZAWIYAH BABA
- PERSATUAN KHIDMAT MASYAFRAKAT CACAT PENGLIHATAN
- SHAMSUL AMRI BAHARUDDIN
- JOHAN JAAFAR
- AGUS YUSOF
- JUSANG BOLONG
- PERGERAKAN PEMUDA BARISAN NASJIONAL
- KEMENTERIAN PERDAGANGAN DALAM NEGERI DAN HAL EHWAL...
- DEBAT PERDANA INTEGRITI ANTARA INSTITUSI PENGAJIAN...
- MAJLIS BUKU KEBANGSAAN MALAYSIA
- INSTITUT INTEGRITI MALAYSIA
- MENTERI BESAR SELANGOR - MEDIA
- KEMENTERIAN PELAJARAN MALAYSIA
- TEATER FAUZIAHJ NAWI
- TABUNG HAJI
- Dr AZLAN ADNAN
- DAVID TEO
- PROFESOR DATO KHOO KHAY KIM
- TAN SRI ARSHAD AYUB
- PROFESOR TEO KOK SEONG
- PUSAT KHIDMAT MASYARAKAT CACAT PENGLIHATAN
- PETRA PERDANA BERHAD
- PRO KEMENTERIAN PELAJARAN MALAYSIA
- S P MUTHU VALOO
- ▼ February (70)
- ADAT REASAM (1)
- AHLI SUKAN (1)
- ATLET (1)
- AWANG AZMAN PAWI (1)
- BABA DAN NYONYA (1)
- BABA NYONYA (2)
- Bahagian Dasar dan Pengurusan Korporat (1)
- BORNEO POST (1)
- BUDAYA (3)
- BUTA (1)
- CALON (1)
- CALON BN (5)
- CALON MIC (1)
- DAP (3)
- DATO' ABDUL RAHMAN PALIL (1)
- DATO' AZIZ DERAMAN (1)
- DATUK HAJI ABDUL AZIZ SINGAH (1)
- DATUK JOHAN JAAFAR (1)
- DATUK WONG CHUN WAI (1)
- DATUK ZAWIYAH BABA (1)
- DAVID TEO (1)
- DBP (1)
- DEBAT PERDANA INTEGRITI ANTARA INSTITUSI PENAGJIAN TINGGI (1)
- Dr AZLAN ADNAN (1)
- DR SARJIT SINGH (1)
- FAHRIN ASMAWI (1)
- FAUZIAH NAWI (1)
- FAUZUL NAIM ISHAK (1)
- FOMCA (1)
- GEMPA BUMI (1)
- GOLONGAN MUDA (1)
- IIM (2)
- IKIM (1)
- INSTITUT INTEGRITI MALAYSIA (1)
- ISA NIKMAT (2)
- ISHAK ABDUL HAMID (1)
- JABATAN PENDAFTARAN NEGARA (1)
- JENIRI AMIR (1)
- JOHOR (1)
- JUSANG BOLONG (2)
- KABINET (1)
- KEJUTAN BARU (1)
- KELANTAN (2)
- KEMENTERIAN PELAJARAN MALAYSIA PRO (1)
- KEMENTERIAN PERDAGANGAN DALAM NEGERI DAN HAL EHWAL PENGGUNA (1)
- KEPIMPINAN BERWIBAWA (1)
- KESELAMATAN (1)
- Ketua Pemuda MIC (1)
- KHPDNHEP (1)
- KOMUNIKASI (1)
- M NASIR YUSOF (1)
- MAJLIS BUKU KEBANGSAAN MALAYSIA (1)
- MAMPU (1)
- MANIFESTO BN (1)
- MANOHARAN (1)
- MB SELANGOR (1)
- MBKM (1)
- MELAKA (3)
- MENTERI (1)
- METROWEALTH (1)
- MIC (2)
- MOHAMAD NASIR YUSOF (1)
- MOHD FAIZAL MOHD SALLEH (1)
- MOHD MOKHTAR ADNAN (1)
- P RAMLEE (1)
- PAIRIN (1)
- PAK NGAH (1)
- PAKAR GEMPA BUMI (1)
- PAS (2)
- PBB (1)
- PBS (1)
- Pelajaran (1)
- PEMUDA BN (1)
- PEMUDA UMNO (2)
- PENGUNDI (1)
- PERLIS (1)
- PERSATUAN SIVIK INDIA MALAYSIA (1)
- PETRA PERDANA BERHAD (1)
- PLKN (1)
- PRO PElajaran (1)
- PROF DATUK DR LATIFF ABU BAKAR (1)
- PROF DR AGUS YUSOF (1)
- PROFESOR BUKHARI ISMAIL (1)
- PROFESOR DATO KHOO KHAY KIM (1)
- PROFESOR DR BOHAFRI ISMAIL (1)
- PROFESOR TEO KOK SEONG (1)
- PRU12 (17)
- PUSAT KHIDMAT MASYARAKAT CACAT PENGLIHATAN (2)
- RAMLI (1)
- RENCANA (2)
- S PMuthu Valoo (1)
- S.OTHMAN KELANTAN (1)
- SABAH (2)
- SARAWAK (3)
- SELANGOR (3)
- SENARAI CALON DAP PULAU PINANG (1)
- SHAANIE ABDULLAH (1)
- SHAMSUL AMRI BAHARUDDIN (1)
- SIME DARBY (2)
- SISTEM PENYAMPAIAN (1)
- SPR (1)
- TABUNG HAJI (1)
- TAN SRI ARSHAD AYUB (1)
- TAN SRI DATO' SERI AHMAD SARJI (1)
- TAN SRI DATUK SERI DR AISHAH GHANI (2)
- TAN SRI LEE LAM THAY (1)
- TAN SRI M MAHALINGAM (1)
- THE STAR (1)
- TUN MUSA HITAM (2)
- TUN RAHMAN YAAKUB (1)
- UiTM (2)
- UKM (2)
- UMNO (1)
- UNIMAS (2)
- UNIT KAWALAN HARGA (1)
- UPM (2)
- VOON MIAW PING (1)
- WAKIL BERNAMA (1)
- WANITA (1)
- WATSON NYAMBEK (1)
- WP (1)
- ZAHID HAMIDI (1)
- ZURINAH HASSAN (1)
View my complete profile