But I do know that the Muslims of South Asia--fully half of the global Ummah, so to speak--have had a live tradition of consensual government. And especially since the days of resistance to colonial rule, we've had much more than that; we've had a rich literature of popular engagement in governance. All this came up because, in relation/reaction to the recent blocking of blogs in Pakistan, the following couplet from the person that Pakistan designates its national poet, (and who also wrote India's most popular national hymn also, by the way) was echoing in my head; and of course, I had to do an English translation to put on my blog:
sulthani-e-jamhoor ka athaa hai zamaana
joe naqsh-e-kohan thum koe nazar aayay mita dho!
comes, now, the era of the people's sovereignty
whatever sign of oppression you see, erase it!
The word we use is "Jamhooriyath", which comes from Jamhoor, as in "sulthani-e-Jamhoor" above; just as "Democracy" comes from the rule of the demos, the commons.
Technorati tags applicable to this post: Urdu - India - Pakistan - Democracy - Islam - Democracy in the Muslim World - Islam and Democracy - Islam - Iqbal