This is response of a Muslim Cleric, Mazin AbdulAdhim, to Mehdi Hasan’s video that was broadcast on Al Jazeera TV:
“This video does not discuss whether Islam is compatible with democracy, rather he is discussing whether Muslims can handle living under a democracy. These are two very separate issues.
“If we are going to discuss whether *Islam* is compatible with democracy, we need to define the two systems properly first.
“More specifically, we must define:
“1) Who is the “sovereign” (meaning, who has the right to legislate laws) in both systems, 2) who has “authority” (meaning, who has the right to choose the ruler) in both systems.
“The issue is very simple:
“1- Sovereignty: In a democracy, man is the sovereign legislator, so laws are legislated based exclusively on the will of the people. In Islam, on the other hand, Allah (swt) is the Sovereign Legislator, so laws are legislated based exclusively on the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah; the people have no right or capability to make Halal into Haram, or Haram into Halal, no matter how many people vote in favor of it.
“2- Authority: In a democracy, man has the right to elect his ruler. In Islam, man has the right to elect his ruler.
“So, people tend to confuse these two things. Yes, people can elect their ruler in both Islam and democracy, but no, people cannot legislate their own laws in Islam, whereas they can in a democracy.
“Therefore, Islam and democracy are contradictory and absolutely incompatible, because Islam forbids mankind from legislating laws in the place of the Creator, even if the overwhelming majority of the people vote in favor of it…