Sharia as National Law in Egypt (?)Sharia or Islamic Law has been exercise in Egypt for years. In my opinion, it can't be accepted if Egyptian want to make their country become democratic. Sharia...

Sharia as National Law in Egypt (?)

Sharia or Islamic Law has been exercise in Egypt for years. In my opinion, it can't be accepted if Egyptian want to make their country become democratic. Sharia ruled only Muslim. Though 90% of Egyptian are Muslim, it still have 10% as minority.

In fact, according to pewresearch's polls, majority agrees to exercise Sharia or at least compile it in national law. So, minority also must respect and ruled by Sharia. That's not democratic at all. What I say democracy is majority rule and minority rights.

So, I'd like to ask, does the exercise of Sharia hamper demoratization? If it does, how to solve this problem?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To me, this depends on how you define democratization and how fast you want it to occur.  I would argue that democracy has never, not in any country, been completely installed overnight.  Sharia may not be what you would want for yourself, but I do not think that it is a complete barrier to eventual democratization.

Think about countries that we all agree are democratic.  The US had the legacy of England's gradual (at least since Magna Carta in 1215) democratization.  Even so, America did not give all white men the vote until the 1820s.  It took 100 years after that to give women the vote.  Blacks were enslaved and then were not given full equality until the 1960s.  So would we have been looking at the US in 1781 and saying "that's not democratic enough, they're going to fail?"

The point is that Egypt has to start from where it is right now.  We can't make it be a full Western democracy with women's rights and everything right away.  I would argue that the only thing that can be done is to let them have time and to try to encourage them to open up.  The more their people have democratic power (voting and such) and the more they see what the outside world is like, the more they will demand changes, I think.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think, as #2 points out, that we need to be very careful about how we view the process of achieving democracy. There are some critics that would argue that we still haven't acheived democracy in its purest form in countries like the USA and the UK. We need to acknowledge that the path to achieving democracy is long and problematic. You cannot be expected to achieve democracy overnight. I don't necessarily think that it is impossible to achieve democracy with Sharia Law, but obviously it might make it more difficult.

justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As the poll you have mentioned indicates, a majority of people want to incorporate Sharia in their constitution.

Just the fact that a country is a democracy doesn't mean that no one has any problems with the laws that are in place. The US has been a democracy for centuries but blacks and women were denied their rights till the twentieth century.

In a democracy, minorities always have a very difficult time securing their rights. It in a way stems from basis of democracy, which is rule by the majority.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The process of turning a country into a democracy is a slow one. Even if at the outset a country becomes a democracy very quickly, it takes time for the machinations to set in. Changing the law of a country dramatically can cause a whole new set of problems.