25 January 2010

Muslims, Politics, and Britain Ten Years On - The Platform

The MCB Youth Committee launched its innovative new blog project last Friday. It's a great new initiative soliciting blogs by leading experts and commentators to provoke debate and discussion on the question of a vision for Britain in ten years. Once the blogs go up, the real work will be in the discussions provoked by the blogs.
They've just put up the first blog, and... it turns out to be mine!
Check it out here.
It argues, very briefly, that the idea of an Islamic 'state' is a historical and theological innovation - the Prophetic model established in the 'Covenant of Medina' was certainly a socio-political one, but it did not involve a monolithic territorial bureaucratic state-structure (the likes of which only came to exist many centuries later). Instead, the Islamic political model involved a mutual framework established by social contract between different communities for grassroots, community self-governance.
Therefore, the idea of the Islamic 'state' is in fact a superimposition of the modern conception of the 'state' onto the original Prophetic model which long preceded it, a democratic and pluralist political model which was radically egalitarian and participatory.

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