The Wrong Question: Can Islam and Democracy Coexist?


  • Jana Elsalhy University of Alberta



Debates about whether Islam and democracy are compatible have been dominated by the most polarizing Orientalist and Islamist opinions. This paper discusses why the question of their compatibility is the wrong question to ask; the assertion that Islam and democracy are intrinsically oppositional prioritizes the most fundamentalist and essentialized understandings of Islam and democracy. Instead, a more appropriate discussion surrounds the conditions under which Muslim-majority nations can and do employ certain democratic practices given that neither understanding of Islam or democracy are monolithic. There are Islam(s) and democrac(ies) as there are multiple contextual practices and comprehensions of Islam and democracy.




How to Cite

Elsalhy, J. (2023). The Wrong Question: Can Islam and Democracy Coexist?. Political Science Undergraduate Review, 8(1).