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Emran Feroz is an Afghan-Austrian journalist currently based in Stuttgart, Germany. He is regularly writing from Afghanistan, often focusing on the Middle East, Central Asia, drone warfare, refugee policies and human rights. Emran is writing in both German and English. His work has already appeared in international media outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Intercept, Alternet, The Atlantic or the New York Times and in various German and Austrian news papers and magazines.
In this episode of Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan is facing the questions we all know:
Is Islam compatible with democracy?
Should all (more than 1,3 billion) Muslims distance themselves from ISIS or Boko Haram?
Why do we hear so little from Muslim populations in India and other parts of Asia although Arab Muslims are a minority?
What about so called Western values and the involvement of Europe and the United States in the Middle East and other Muslim-majority countries?
Anwar Ibrahim, who might become Malaysia's next prime minister, has some interesting answers. He believes that it is possible to have Muslim democratic parties in Asia, Africa or the Middle East since we also have Christian democratic parties in Europe. Just one thing needs to be clear: The fundamental principles of democracy cannot be compromised. Having free elections is just one part of them. Others are judicial independence, free media and equal rights for citizens.
At the same time, Ibrahim, who is considered a Muslim reformist himself, takes a very critical stance towards dictatorships in Muslim-majority countries and also towards Western governments that support them:
"They support the dictators and authoritarian regimes, but I would not use that as a complete argument because I think the Muslim societies themselves need reform and need a further commitment towards this and it is happening in the Muslim world, in Indonesia, Malaysia. It is not happening, unfortunately, in the Arab world. The problem is the Arab nations and not a Muslim problem."