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The concept of democracy is not universally agreed upon by all political scientists. Many take it to include some form of elected political representation, the rule of law, and protection of human rights of all citizens. These concepts, and especially the latter two, are central to Islamic teachings. As for the method by which political leaders are chosen, Islam advocates a system of mutual consultation that can include popular elections as a means to choose both local and national leaders. Indeed, many Muslim-majority countries exercise this form of democracy, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, and Bangladesh, amongst others.

In fact, Pew polls in 2011 and 2013 have shown that a substantial majority of Muslims worldwide favor democracy. As we witnessed during the 2011 Arab Spring and beyond, people throughout the Arab world in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, and Syria have risked their lives, and in some places are still risking them, in their struggle for freedom and democratic change in their countries.

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