Excellent articles, I was like Mustaga Akyol not long ago, but today I am convinced that a pure and hard liberalism is an acid for the traditional morality resulting from Islam (and monotheistic religions). Your Debate reminds me of the "liberalism vs communatarianism" debate and in my opinion here that Muslim political thinkers should work. The religion and Islam in particular is communatarianism, but that does not imply authoritarianism, a happy medium between liberalism and communatarianism can be found. With in particular, a multi-denominational state where liberal secular morality would not have to be imposed on religious. This multi-confessionalism would have its limit, with a freedom to change denominational community, for example going from an Islamic community to a liberal community. This point of view requires a State with a local democracy where each city and region could leave the choice to its population to apply liberal or religious standards. What do you think ?

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Firstly thank you for having this debate / discussion so openly (both not in private, and being open changing your mind/s).

I agree that in a democracy we need to be open to ideas that we don’t like, and that one’s ideas (or the representative of those ideas) losing as much as winning. This is essential for democracy to function.

However, my query is how do you define democracy? I note in your previous post you define it as “a set of procedural mechanisms for managing political competition, selecting leaders, and alternating power between parties and individuals.”

Keep in mind then, that there are many different types of procedural mechanisms, currently in play in what we would call ‘democracies’ around the world, and that choice of mechanism can lead to very different outcomes (take a simple example of ranked-choice voting versus first-past-the-post voting). Some of these are better than others and I suspect you might agree we should be improving them? If so, to what end? (I don’t think the end can be divorced from the means).

Equally electoral representation has only really been synonymous with democracy since Tocqueville in the 1830s. And even then it was a very different version than what we would call democracy today. Which goes to suggest that democracy is no better an anchor for good government than liberalism? And perhaps worse?

Or to put the question more openly, what is the essence of democracy that you hold as the core here?

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