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In the Bible, the twelve tribes were "ruled" by Judges. There was no central government for centuries. But the Philistine threat caused the people to demand a central authority with a monarch, and the chief Judge Samuel has to accommodate their democratic demand despite his warnings about the abuses that would ensue. And so the kingdom was born. But it was the demand of the people, not of God, that created it.
Is the Qur’an’s position on the subservience of women, rule by monarchy, and violence really any different from that of the Bible?
Yes, but Muhammad became the temporal as well as spiritual leader of the state of Medina. And a khilaf (caliph) is a temporal and spiritual leader of the umma. The last caliph was the Sultan of the Turkish Ottoman empire. Whether there can be a separation between Mosque and state has been very controversial since its inception.
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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