Oct 22 2007
Islam: 'Conflict with democracy' centres on non-Muslims' status [Excerpts]
Syrian philosopher Sadik Al-Azm believes that while "there exists a conflict between Islam, in its original form, and democracy, this problem can be solved easily".
"To do this Islam needs to jettison certain laws, first and foremost the concept of 'ahl al-dhimma' the so-called 'protected' status granted to followers of the only two other religions recognised by Muslims - Judaism and Christianity," Al-Azm said in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).
In practice, ahl al-dhimma, which is gaining popularity in an increasingly Islamised Iraq, allows non-Muslims, and only Christians and Jews at that, to follow their religion, while effectively stripping them of their political rights and privileges.
[TBC: While some make take the words of Sadik Al-Azm as offering hope for change in Islam, it is worth noting that he is known as the "Apostate of Damascus."]