Enfreindre le tabou de la démocratie

Il m’arrive souvent d’être invité par les autorités religieuses des pays du Golfe ou d’Arabie saoudite à participer à des réunions invitant l’audience à suivre la loi et foi islamiques, tout en évitant soigneusement un débat sur des questions d’ordre politique. Les droits politiques, me disent mes hôtes avec insistance, sont appliqués par les régimes au pouvoir, et ceux-ci suivent les enseignements du Coran.

Mais dernièrement, j’ai reçu une invitation de la part du Centre Fayçal pour la recherche et les études islamiques, qui souhaitait que je parle de la démocratie, ou de la « bonne gouvernance », comme l’appelaient les participants. Jusqu’à peu, ce sujet était tabou en Arabie saoudite, pays dont le régime ne laisse aucune place au débat politique, et ordonne à la population d’écouter, d’obéir et de laisser les affaires du gouvernement à ceux qui gouvernent.

Les organisateurs de la conférence avaient manifestement l’intention de raviver le débat religieux et politique de façon à trouver un terrain d’entente entre la foi islamique et la démocratie. Mon point de vue était que, comme de nombreux érudits religieux l’ont reconnu, la jurisprudence islamique était compatible avec les valeurs démocratiques. Tout pays ayant choisi la voie de la démocratie s’est rapproché des objectifs islamiques d’égalité et de justice sociale.

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