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Islam and Politics: Qaddafi’s Ideology Coursework

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Updated: Jun 18th, 2022

A socialist approach to politics focuses on equal power relations and adhocracy. Socialist politics aims at the alleviation of hierarchical government structures. Islamic principles on the other hand aim at the deployment of a conservative approach to governance. Qaddafi argues that the integration of his socialist politics into Islamic principles ensures effective governance (Byrnes 12). Qaddafi argues that traditional interpretations of the law under Islamic principles are not appropriate based on the fact different people have different interpretations of Islamic law. Irrespective of the motivations behind such an approach to politics, the claim that traditional interpretations of Islamic law are reactionary is not justified. Just like any other religion, Islam was founded on staunch principles that aim for the good of humanity; it cannot, therefore, be asserted that there are different interpretations of the Islamic principles. In addition, the claims by Qaddafi that Islamic principles are a reactionary approach to leadership are not justified because it is a violation of the ethical principles that govern Islam as a religion. This implies that Qaddafi has no trust in the use of Islamic principles to govern (Byrnes 14).

The political frameworks of Islam are based on three significant principles that incorporate oneness, prophethood and Caliphate. This implies that the administration of authority is according to one’s instructions and that the main objective behind leadership is to ensure the good of humanity. Qaddafi’s perceptions do not reflect such principles of Islamic governance. Islamic principles also put emphasis on democracy, Qaddafi’s socialist approach to politics seems to denounce democracy as a way of administering governance. Based on these arguments, Qaddafi’s claims are not justified.

Qaddafi’s ideology towards the resolution of the problem of democracy was not a success because the various levels of freedom aimed at fostering expression of oneself and not of the society. An important aspect of democracy is the ability to express oneself rationally, without fear of infringement. Corporates and individuals have this freedom disposed to them provided they act within their sanity, and they should express their interests only without generalizing; this inhibits the development of democracy because every expression entails some element of self-interest, rather than the views of the public as a whole. This shortchanges the press because an individual has no right to ownership of a means of passing information to the public. This implies that only the government and a few people’s groups have such rights. The press serves as a channel for expressing the views of the society; this is a significant strategy in ensuring democracy within the society (Simons 56). The claim that Qaddafi aimed at resolving the problem of democracy through his green book ideology is not valid, as evident by the infringements on the press section. The underlying argument is that the strong will rule always, while democracy will forever remain a theoretical concept.

Works cited

Byrnes, Sholto. “The NS Profile: Muammar al-Gaddafi.” New Statesman (2009): 12-14.

Cook, Michael. The Koran has a very short introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Kepel, Gilles. Jihad: on the Trail of Political Islam. London: Harvard University Press, 2002.

Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza. “The Wrath of Militant Islam.” International Journal of Middle East Studies (2000): 45-50.

Roy, Olivier. The Failure of Political Islam. London: Harvard University Press, 1994.

Simons, Richard. “Ahmadinejad vs. Khatami.” Economist (2009): 6-9.

Wright, Robin. Dreams and Shadows: the Future of the Middle East. New York: Penguin Press, 2008.

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