Universal Values and Muslim Democracy

Issue Date July 2006
Volume 17
Issue 3
Page Numbers 5-12
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The desire for freedom and self-government is written in human hearts everywhere; in this there can be no “clash of civilizations.” The quest for democracy among Muslims today is one of the most prominent and transformative features of our time. Claims that Islam is inherently hostile to democracy represent an unwarranted surrender to fundamentalist arguments. We should engage with a broad spectrum of Muslim groups, but without compromising our commitment to freedom and democracy.

About the Author

Anwar Ibrahim, a member of the Parliament of Malaysia, heads the People’s Justice Party and the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition. A former finance minister and deputy prime minister, he led the Reformasi opposition movement in 1998 and later spent ten years in incarceration as a political prisoner. After his party won the May 2018 election, he received a full pardon for all the crimes alleged against him. He has been a visiting professor at Georgetown University and SAIS in Washington and at St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

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