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Is Islam compatible with democracy?

Many cite the equal importance of democracy and Islam to the progress of the Muslim world.

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SOURCE: Gallup Poll of the Muslim World/Rich Clabaugh–STAFF

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•Large majorities cite the equal importance of democracy and Islam to the quality of life and progress of the Muslim world. They see no contradiction between democratic values and religious principles.

•Political freedoms are among the things they admire most about the West.

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•Substantial majorities in nearly all nations say that if drafting a new constitution, they would guarantee freedom of speech (see chart, below).

•Most want neither theocracy nor secular democracy but a third model in which religious principles and democratic values coexist. They want their own democratic model that draws on Islamic law as a source.

•Significant majorities say religious leaders should play no direct role in drafting a constitution, writing legislation, determining foreign policy, or deciding how women dress in public.


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