Anwar Syed of the University of Massachusetts has an article in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, countering the views of radical Islamists that democracy is unIslamic.
How may we place democracy in Islam? It seems to me that the basic elements in the democratic process (ruler’s election, his accountability to the governed, and their right to political participation) stand approved [by early Islamic law and practice]. It was open to the subsequent generations, to extend their scope. There is nothing to stop them from enfranchising the entire body of citizens.The injunction regarding mutual consultation [shura] goes beyond requiring the decision-maker to consult; it gives the consultees (the people) the right to be consulted.