Sunday, 18 Dhu al-Qi'dah 1440 | 2019/07/21
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

News & Comment
Democracy is the Problem, not the Solution


Secular government leaders announced a new party called Long Live Tunisia on Sunday which is to be led by the prime minister and will compete with moderate Islamists in upcoming elections.

The new movement was formed after months of wrangling within ruling coalition party Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia’s Call), resulting in the resignation of dozens of leaders.

The fragile coalition, which also includes the moderate Islamist party Ennahda (Renaissance), is struggling to pass economic reforms demanded by foreign lenders.

“Our goal will be to have a strong party that will lead economic reforms and return hope for frustrated Tunisians,” Zohra Idriss, a lawmaker and member of the new party, told Reuters by telephone from Monastir.

“We seek to lead the nation and compete with the Islamists ... Chahed will be the leader.” (Reuters News 27/01/2019)


Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring. It has been heralded as a democratic success unlike other countries which are either still in a struggle, such as Syria embroiled in a continued war or those like Libya, which despite the demise of Ghaddafi is still a political mess.

This is what we are meant to believe, that democracy is the pinnacle of political development in a nation and the other struggles of society are a normal part of the process of development. As long as the political process is deemed as ‘healthy’ and ‘progressive’ according to the Western model, the other problems of society, be they economic, social etc., are not clearly linked to the political process.

A new political party and many political parties are always presented as enriching the democratic process. A healthy democracy is where the choice on voting and who comes to power are expanded and people are given more choices.

Yet after 8 years of a ‘revolution’ in Tunisia, things are not settled with economic problems still being faced by citizens with many promises of change. Yet the economic policies being put into place are always tied to the IMF so are more reminiscent of colonization rather than true liberation.

How good is democracy anyway? If one were to look at the society as a whole in a progressed Democracy, such as Canada, Britain or the United States, it is more evident than ever that there are huge social problems that citizens lack in basic needs and the gap between rich and poor is ever increasing.

Tunisia is like any other country in the world today; it is following a form of government and political engagement which is actually leading the world into disarray. Democracy is the rule of the people by the people and for the people. But Man is not able to run his affairs without guidance; hence, we see the turmoil all around us. This very system is allowing the situation of outside interference that leads us into more economic and social problems. And at the same time it disparages any real alterative system or ideas.

It is time for all Muslim countries and their politicians, thinkers and sincere power holders to re-think and seriously examine the system they are partaking in. It is also time to wake up and realize our success and failure that lies not in how we work within the secular political framework, seeking solutions from sources that do not agree with our Aqeedah and that do not work! We are blessed with a truly revolutionary system; one that can uproot the current democratic, capitalist, secular system. This system will not just change faces but it will remove the Western hegemony that dominates our lands and our minds in seeking solutions from taghut and kufr instead of Islam.

The solution that is presented this time and again in our Muslim lands is new faces or old ones recycled with a new name or a newly branded team of politicians. The problem is that you can change the players in a team but if the rules of the game are not right, no one will really win. Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "إنَّا كنَّا أذلَّ قوم، فأعزَّنا الله بالإسلام، فمهما نطلب العِزَّة بغير ما أعزَّنا الله به أذلَّنا الله"“Verily, we were a disgraceful people and Allah honored us with Islam. If we seek honor from anything besides that with which Allah has honored us, then Allah will disgrace us.”

This is a simple lesson and for the sincere and political astute, the failure of democracy is evident. So, it is time to replace this idea with an Islamic political model of governance, which is the Khilafah on the method of the Prophethood.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Nazia Rehman


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