The path to secular democracy in Afghanistan : through educational reform and rule of law
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Since the early 1970s, when the third major historical wave of democratization began, the Muslim world has seen little evidence of improvements in reaching for this new wave of political reform. As more and more countries around the world are embracing openness, transparency and power sharing in governance, Islam has become an important point of reference in debates about how the Muslim nation states should be governed. In spite of the "democracy gap" in many Muslim countries, history shows that Islam is not inherently incompatible with freedom, secularism, modernism and democratic values. This thesis explores Afghanistan and its possible path to secular democracy. It focuses on establishing a secular democracy with a concentration on educational reform and rule of law in order for political, social and economic reform.; In order to validate the hypothesis, the methodology used was divided into four principal parts. First, analyzing the political history of Afghanistan and demonstrating that modern democratic initiatives have been the quest of the Afghan political forces for years. Secondly, reviewing the process of democratization of Turkey and Indonesia and using their models as a blueprint for necessary reforms while considering the relevant lessons from past political experiences in order to create a practical framework. The work of Nurcholish Madjid and his neo-modernist ideologies was also reviewed to illustrate his belief that for Islam to be victorious in the global struggle of ideas, it needs to embrace the concepts of tolerance, democracy, and pluralism. Thirdly, we assessed the rise of the Taliban and their political ideologies, confirming that reconciliation with a fundamentalist regime will be a path to democratic failure. Fourth, we established the importance of rule of law initiatives for promoting civil liberties and rights of the Afghan people.; Afghanistan has been besieged by foreign conquests and invasions for centuries. It is a county which has experienced instability and armed conflict for the last thirty years. This period is an extension to its struggle for freedom, political stability, security and development. As Afghanistan attempts to build peace, sustain democracy and maintain co-existence after more than thirty years of violence, there continues to be limited attention given to two of the main contributors to social, political, and economical advancement: education and rule of law.; A new curriculum for Afghanistan together with upgraded teacher capacities is the most pertinent factors to ensure that democracy is established and maintained in Afghanistan. A free and fair political system, protection of human rights, a vibrant civil society, public confidence in the police and courts are just some areas covered under the rule of law. The rule of law is the cornerstone for all other elements of democracy and is a requirement for economic growth and political stability.
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