In an Islamic state, the leader (Caliph) is appointed by the Muslim Ummah through a process of consultation (shura), whether it is direct plebiscite of the people or election by a council of representatives (e.g. heads of tribes, influentials or elected regional representatives etc). However, this is where the similarity between the Islamic system and modern Secular “Democracy” ends/
In an Islamic State, the basis of all law is the Quran and Sunnah, and no leader can reject or fail to establish it as law, or make it the determiner of affairs of state (i.e. what the state should do) and the determiner of the method of implementing those affairs (e.g. fulfilling the obligation of Zakah, by collecting the Zakah from people and distributing it). However, when it comes to how to discharge those affairs, the leader is obliged by the Quran, to run the affairs of the people using ‘Shura’ (consultation) (e.g. asking people what would be the most convenient way to collect the Zakah from them).
The Caliph is elected based upon confidence to lead, not on his policies, because he is obliged to derive laws based upon the Quran and Sunnah – and has no option to not implement the clear laws contained therein, even if not convenient for government, which provides full protections for people’s rights at all times.
In a modern (Western) secular Democracy, the leaders are not obliged to consult the people in running the affairs (nor fulfil their election promises). They derive laws from what is convenient, and may (and do) take away people’s rights using that justification (e.g. ‘its for security…’ or ‘the majority want it against you and the minority’ or ‘this minority’s beliefs are “dangerous” [in our opinion], and in the name of national security/freedom, they must be dealt with by control/expulsion measures’).
In Islam, the leader remains in power until he becomes unjust or incompetent.
In a modern (Western) secular Democracy, the leader remains in power despite being unjust or incompetent, and may get elected again if he can lie to the people to persuade them he is the lesser of two evils.
In an Islamic State, the leader’s position is secure, and can’t be bullied, controlled or bossed around by corporations, lobby groups and rich businessmen – and so remains independent to pursue his conscience.
In a modern (Western) secular Democracy, the leader is dependent on money from corporations, lobby groups and rich businessmen, to fund his re-election campaigns, and fund his party.
Islam protects your rights, even when its not convenient.
modern (Western) secular Democracy gives you your rights, until its not convenient.
In an Islamic State, anyone can take the ruler to court for injustice. If the injustice is due to the deliberate and wilful act of the Caliph, he can potentially be removed from his position by the Constitutional Court, or high Judge, the Shaikh ul Islam due to failing to be a competent or just leader (a Sharia condition of the Caliph position). [Although Muslim history has been at times far from perfect, a number of incompetent Ottoman Caliphs were removed from their position by the decree of the Ottoman Shaikh ul Islam]. If the Caliph implements any unIslamic law, he is automatically removed from his position without needing Court approval (this is the only circumstance in Islamic law for armed rebellion against a Caliph).
In a Secular Democracy, impeachment requires a number of votes by a parliament or congress to pass, usually 2/3 majority. This means that if a President commits injustice (say, against a minority), but has popular support, impeachment becomes virtually impossible – regardless of the merits of the case.
Islam demands rulers seek your opinion, and not make false promises and lies to get your vote every four years.
In a modern (Western) secular Democracy, the leaders seek your vote, not your opinion.
In 1786 the French Ambassador in Istanbul, Count de Choiseul-Gouffier, wrote a letter back to King Louis XVI expressing frustration at waiting upon decisions from the Ottoman Caliphs, because he didn’t dictate decisions like European Kings did:
“Here things are not as in France where the king is sole master and does as he pleases. Here the sultan has to consult. He has to consult with the former holders of high offices, with the leaders of various groups and so on. And this is a slow process.”
An Islamic State is based upon sovereignty to the Creator, who doesn’t change his mind, it not prone to prejudice, bigotry or ignorance.
A modern (Western) secular Democracy, is based upon sovereignty of the Individual, who does change their mind, is prone to prejudice, bigotry and ignorance.
Who would you like to rule you?