Religiosity and Perception About Compatibility of Democracy With Islam: Evidence From the Arab World

Religiosity and Perception About Compatibility of Democracy With Islam: Evidence From the Arab World Abstract Using the data from Arab countries, this article shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. This article also shows that this result may be driven by two characteristics of religiosity: frequently reading the Holy Quran (the source of religion) and regularly praying. Our results show that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for respondents that read the Holy Quran frequently and for respondents that pray frequently. Our results also show that respondents with high trust in religious leadership or high preference for religious political parties do not show a negative attitude toward democracy. Is democracy compatible with Islam? The answer to this question has formed the basis for plentiful of public and academic debate. On one extreme are the commentators and academicians that consider no compatibility of democracy with Islam. For instance, Huntington (1993) argues that Muslim countries are infertile ground for democratic development. He notes that Islam is a civilization whose followers are convinced of the superiority of their culture. Therefore, they reject the western values, including democracy. Potrafke (2013) supports the arguments of Huntington (1993) by documenting that countries where Muslims are in majority are less democratic than countries where Muslims are in minority. Major theme in these findings is that there is something about Islam that makes Muslim societies resistant to democracy. The commentators and academicians supporting above findings stress that reliance on a fixed religious text, the emphasis on divine sovereignty, and the supposed lack of distinction between the religious and the political realm make Islam incompatible with democracy (Anderson, 2004; Fukuyama, 2001; Rowley & Smith, 2009). Contrary to above arguments, there are numerous scholars who note that those who consider Islam to be at odds with democracy focus on those interpretations of Islam that are conducive to authoritarianism and disregard those interpretations that promote democratic principles (Anderson, 2004; Hofmann, 2004). These scholars believe that Islamic traditions of shura (consultation), ijma (consensus), and ijtihad (independent reasoning) provide intellectual basis for the development of democratic institutions in Muslim societies (Esposito & Voll, 1996). Rashid Ghanoushi, Tunisian Islamist leader, notes that “If by democracy is meant the liberal model of government prevailing in the West, a system under which the people freely choose their representatives and leaders, in which there is an alternation of power, as well as all freedoms and human rights for the public, then Muslims will find nothing in their religion to oppose democracy.” The traditions of shura, ijma, and ijtihad have, therefore, resulted in a culture where pluralistic arguments and diversity of thought are openly accepted, thereby providing the rationale for developing democratic institutions. Without overly analyzing the validity of above arguments, this article notes that the debate on the compatibility of democracy with Islam should be viewed from the perspective of an ordinary Muslim. If democracy is indeed inconsistent with Islamic teachings, Muslims with religious leanings should be averse to it. However, if they do not see any contradiction between the two, they are more likely to accept democracy as a system of governance, thereby paving the way for promoting democratic culture and institutions in the Muslim world. This article argues that, what matters is not the theoretical debate on whether democracy is compatible with Islam, but what an ordinary Muslim thinks about the relationship between the two. The results of this article show that an ordinary religious Muslim does not see any contradiction between democracy and Islam. Using the data from third wave of Arab Barometer (collected over the period between 2012 and 2014), this article shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. This article argues that an ordinary religious Muslim comes across plentiful of Islamic traditions that tilt his opinion in the favor of democracy. For instance, considerable variations in the interpretations of religious laws (ijtihad) indicate to him that Islam tolerates difference of opinion—an important democratic tradition (Tessler, 2002). Furthermore, the traditions of consultation (shura) and consensus (ijma) signify the institutionalization of disagreements. It, further, provides an expression for democratic culture in Islam (Esposito & Voll, 1996). An interesting finding of this article is that odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for respondents that read the Holy Quran frequently than that for respondents that rarely read the Holy Quran. This result is of significant importance because our respondents are those that understand Arabic. These respondents are unlike vast majority of other Muslims that do not understand Arabic. This article argues that these respondents can go directly to the source of religion (the Holy Quran) and can make their own judgment. If the Quranic message is pro-democracy, the respondents who read (and therefore understand) the Holy Quran frequently will see no contradiction between Islam and democracy. Similar result is obtained for respondents that pray regularly. This article shows that odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for respondents that pray regularly than that for respondents that do not pray regularly. Furthermore, this article also shows no relationship between the preference of a respondent for religious political parties and his perception about compatibility between democracy and Islam. Similar findings are observed between the trust of a respondent in religious leadership and his perception about compatibility between democracy and Islam. While elaborating the democratic attitudes of religious respondents, this article also shows that respondents with higher levels of religiosity consider changing government (probably the most important characteristic of democracy) as the most important feature of democracy. Given that religious parties gained significant political gains after the Arab spring, it is of no surprise that religious respondents considered changing the government as the most important feature of democracy. Our results also indicate that this relationship may be driven by respondents who read the Holy Quran (major source of Islamic teachings) frequently. We show that these respondents consider changing government as the most important feature of democracy. This result is of significant importance because it highlights the fact that individuals who seek direct guidance from the source of religion (the Holy Quran) do understand that any agenda that needs to be implemented has to go through a process where majority has to agree with it. The remainder of the article is structured as follows: Section 2 briefly presents motivation and background for this article. Section 3 summarizes the data, and Section 4 presents methodology along with the main results. Section 5 presents additional tests, and the article concludes with Section 6. Motivation and Background This article is an attempt to document the extent to which religiosity affects one’s attitude toward democracy. More specifically, this article aims to answer the following question: Do religious Muslims consider democracy to be inconsistent with Islamic principles? Many commentators and researchers argue that there is something about Islam that makes Muslim societies resistant to democracy (Huntington, 1993; Lewis, 1996; Potrafke, 2012, 2013). One of the criticisms forwarded by them regarding incompatibility of Islam and democracy is that Islam encourages intellectual conformity and an uncritical acceptance of authority. They argue that such a notion of intellectual conformity and acceptance of authority is against democracy, which requires tolerance of divergent views, pluralism, and openness (Tessler, 2002). They note that, in Islam, sovereignty rests in God, and everyone should derive all authorities (including political authority) from His laws. Therefore, Muslim societies are, essentially, not democratic (Choueiri, 1996; Zakaria, 2004). Contrary to above arguments, this article rests its case on an assumption that any discussion about compatibility between Islam and democracy is a false premise (Halliday, 1999). This article argues that Islam cannot be referred to as of one form. Islam, as it is practiced today, has several different sects and different schools of thought within each sect. Each sect and each school of thought differ considerable from each other. For instance, Sunnis differ from Shiites, and Malkis differ from Hanafis within Sunni sect. As a result, one observes that the core doctrine of Islam is subject to a variety of interpretations—an important characteristic of present day Islam. This article argues this plurality highlights the room for democratic traditions in Muslim societies. Our argument lends its support from extant literature, such as Anderson (2004) and Stepan (2001), who note that Islam is not inherently incompatible with democratic governance. Stepan (2001), in fact, argues that Islamic traditions contain certain intellectual resources that can be called on in support of democracy. One of the examples cited in this regard (according to Sunni school of thought) is that the Prophet (PBUH) passed away without appointing a successor. He did not give any instruction that would indicate his choice of successor. He left it to the Muslims to decide who they want to appoint as their leader. In the beginning, there was a disagreement among Muslims on who should be the successor of the Prophet (PBUH), but eventually consensus was reached and the successor was appointed with the vote of the majority. It indicates that the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) did not establish dictatorship or monarchy. In fact, they choose democratic traditions for themselves. Furthermore, many Islamic scholars argue that democratic characteristics (such as tolerance of divergent views, pluralism, and openness) are a part of the fundamental teachings of Islam. They note that there are certain traditions in Islam, such as ijtihad (independent reasoning), shura (consultation), and ijma (consensus), which have allowed Islamic societies to incorporate democratic values, such as openness, competition, pluralism, and tolerance of diversity. The tradition of ijtihad, for instance, allows scholars to interpret or reinterpret the Islamic laws (to an extent) and come up with new interpretations based on their own reasoning. The tradition of ijtihad has, therefore, resulted in situations where intellectuals belonging to different sects or within same sect have come to conclusions that are completely different from each other (Anderson, 2004). Khurshid Ahmed, an influential Islamic scholar, argues that: “God revealed only broad (general) principles… It is through the ijtihad that people of every age try to implement and apply divine guidance to the problems of their times.” It indicates that Islam is averse to adapting to new political realities and new emerging circumstances. The tradition of shura is similar to a modern day parliament. It is an integral part of Islamic political architecture. It dictates the society to organize the political life around a consultative decision-making body (for instance, the parliament), thereby providing mechanism for the members of society to contribute to the decision-making process. The tradition of shura gets its support from various chapters (for example, Chapter 3 and Chapter 42) of the Holy Quran, where Muslims are advised to consult each other on matters related to them. The Quranic verses suggest that shura is a praiseworthy lifestyle of a true believer. According to Islamic traditions, shura is of two kinds: first is the consultation of the ruler with Muslims regarding matters concerning them, and second is the consultation among Muslims about how to administer their own affairs. Both types of shura ensure that the ruler and the subjects actively take part in decision-making. Given that consultation (such as what is done in modern parliaments) is essential component of democracy, this article argues that the tradition of shura has resulted in fertile ground for democracy in Muslim societies. The Islamic traditions consider ijma as a major source of legislation. It gets its support from the life of Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) used to seek advice of his companions and occasionally followed their suggestions (Ahmad, 2003). Voll and Esposito (1994) note that ijma provides great possibilities for developing democracies in Muslim countries. The consensus that emerges out of ijma is a mechanism to ensure that power is not monopolized by the few—an important characteristic of democracy. It also provides a basis for accepting the majority rule—another characteristic of democracy. Therefore, it is argued that ijma offers not only a way to legitimize the democracy but also provides a procedure to carry it out. Based on above arguments, this article argues that Muslim societies should not be averse to democracy. In fact, they are closer to democratic values than what is suggested (Hofmann, 2004; Islam & Islam, 2017). It is for this reason that there are numerous religious political parties in many parts of the Muslim world. Data This article uses the data from Arab Barometer Wave 3 to document the impact of religiosity on perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam. The data for Wave 3 is collected after the Arab Spring during the period between 2012 and 2014. The countries included in the analysis are: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. For the purpose of this analysis, this article uses the responses provided by the Muslims. Non-Muslims constituted around 3% of the sample and were dropped from the analysis. Following sub-sections will explain the data in detail. Main Variables Main variables required to answer our research question are related to religiosity and perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam. DEMOCRACY: The Arab Barometer asks respondents to rate whether democracy contradicts the teachings of Islam. Based on the answer to this question, we construct a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 for respondents who do not agree with this proposition and 0 for those who agree with this proposition. RELIGIOSITY: To define religiosity of respondent, this article uses the answer of respondents to the question of whether they consider themselves as religious, somewhat religious or not religious. This variable takes the value of 1 for respondents who are not religious, 2 for those who are somewhat religious, and 3 for respondents who are religious. Table 1 documents the average values of both variables. Table 1 shows that majority of respondents do not see any contradiction between Islam and democracy. However, there is significant variation across countries regarding the perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam. On one extreme is Egypt, where >91% of respondents think that democracy is consistent with Islamic teachings, while on the other extreme is Jordan, where around 61% of respondents think that Islam and democracy are compatible. Table 1 also shows that majority of respondents characterize themselves as religious or somewhat religious. The average value falls between 2 and 3 in all of the countries. An important insight that emerges from Table 1 is that most of respondents characterize themselves as religious and see no contradiction between democracy and Islam. Table 1 Descriptive Statistics Country DEMOCRACY RELIGIOSITY Total respondents Algeria 0.7477 2.1585 1,003 Egypt 0.9170 2.4170 952 Iraq 0.7649 2.3593 1,102 Jordan 0.6102 2.3514 1,673 Kuwait 0.7566 2.4240 974 Lebanon 0.7230 2.1520 697 Morocco 0.7638 2.3207 957 Palestine 0.6878 2.3572 1,131 Sudan 0.7647 2.5358 1,088 Tunisia 0.6365 2.1767 996 Yemen 0.6180 2.1655 1,063 Total sample 0.7140 2.3027 11,636 Country DEMOCRACY RELIGIOSITY Total respondents Algeria 0.7477 2.1585 1,003 Egypt 0.9170 2.4170 952 Iraq 0.7649 2.3593 1,102 Jordan 0.6102 2.3514 1,673 Kuwait 0.7566 2.4240 974 Lebanon 0.7230 2.1520 697 Morocco 0.7638 2.3207 957 Palestine 0.6878 2.3572 1,131 Sudan 0.7647 2.5358 1,088 Tunisia 0.6365 2.1767 996 Yemen 0.6180 2.1655 1,063 Total sample 0.7140 2.3027 11,636 Table 1 Descriptive Statistics Country DEMOCRACY RELIGIOSITY Total respondents Algeria 0.7477 2.1585 1,003 Egypt 0.9170 2.4170 952 Iraq 0.7649 2.3593 1,102 Jordan 0.6102 2.3514 1,673 Kuwait 0.7566 2.4240 974 Lebanon 0.7230 2.1520 697 Morocco 0.7638 2.3207 957 Palestine 0.6878 2.3572 1,131 Sudan 0.7647 2.5358 1,088 Tunisia 0.6365 2.1767 996 Yemen 0.6180 2.1655 1,063 Total sample 0.7140 2.3027 11,636 Country DEMOCRACY RELIGIOSITY Total respondents Algeria 0.7477 2.1585 1,003 Egypt 0.9170 2.4170 952 Iraq 0.7649 2.3593 1,102 Jordan 0.6102 2.3514 1,673 Kuwait 0.7566 2.4240 974 Lebanon 0.7230 2.1520 697 Morocco 0.7638 2.3207 957 Palestine 0.6878 2.3572 1,131 Sudan 0.7647 2.5358 1,088 Tunisia 0.6365 2.1767 996 Yemen 0.6180 2.1655 1,063 Total sample 0.7140 2.3027 11,636 Control Variables This article uses following set of control variables. All of these variables are expected to affect the perception about compatibility of Islam and democracy. Definitions of the following variables are provided in Appendix A. First set of variables control for the understandings of respondents regarding the religion. These variables include the following: Attitude toward shariah (SHARIAH), attitude toward enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE), difference of opinion in religious matters (DIFF), and political rights of non-Muslims (MINRIGHTS). Second set of control variables include following personal characteristics of respondents: Marital status (SINGLE), age (AGE), gender (MALE), education (GRADUATE), financial condition (FINCOND), and interest in politics (POLITICS). Last set of control variables includes the following country-level characteristics: log of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (GDP), GDP growth rate (GROWTH), foreign direct investment as a percent of GDP (foreign direct investment [FDI]), rule of law (LAW), and accountability (ACCOUNT). Methodology and Results To test the effect of religiosity on the perception that Islam and democracy are compatible, we estimate various versions of the following logistic regression. The data were gathered during the period between 2012 and 2014. DEMOCRACY=α+β1RELIGIOSITY+β2SHARIAH+β3ENFORCE+β4DIFF+β5MINRIGHTS+β6SINGLE+β7AGE+β8MALE+β9GRADUATE+β10FINCOND+β11POLITICS+β12GDP+β13GROWTH+β14FDI+β15LAW+β16ACCOUNT+ɛ. (1) Table 2 (Panel A) reports odds ratio for variables used in our analysis. Our results show that the odds ratio for RELIGIOSITY is always >1. It indicates that odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are always higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. For instance, our estimation from Model (4) shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam for more religious respondents is 1.0879 times that for less religious respondents. Our results are consistent with those studies that argue that democracy and Islam are compatible (Esposito & Voll, 1996; Hofmann, 2004). Table 2 Religiosity and the Perception About Compatibility of Islam and Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1033*** 1.0991*** 1.1549*** 1.0879* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1799*** 1.1148* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 1.0182 1.0271 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9713 1.0146 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3284*** 0.3155*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9715 0.9510 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0011 1.0037 Gender (MALE) 0.9445 0.9502 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.3086*** 1.3166*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9708 0.8851** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0775*** 1.0763*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.2603** 1.5529*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9190*** 0.9051*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.8924*** 0.7967*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.7116*** 0.9275 Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 1.8377*** 2.1746*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 11,636 12,341 11,179 9,989 Wald chi-square 145.50 61.63 656.72 735.96 Pseudo R-square 0.0111 0.0041 0.0497 0.0671 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.7345 0.7282 0.7466 0.7481 Not religious 0.6945 0.6893 0.6884 0.7150 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1033*** 1.0991*** 1.1549*** 1.0879* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1799*** 1.1148* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 1.0182 1.0271 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9713 1.0146 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3284*** 0.3155*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9715 0.9510 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0011 1.0037 Gender (MALE) 0.9445 0.9502 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.3086*** 1.3166*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9708 0.8851** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0775*** 1.0763*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.2603** 1.5529*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9190*** 0.9051*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.8924*** 0.7967*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.7116*** 0.9275 Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 1.8377*** 2.1746*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 11,636 12,341 11,179 9,989 Wald chi-square 145.50 61.63 656.72 735.96 Pseudo R-square 0.0111 0.0041 0.0497 0.0671 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.7345 0.7282 0.7466 0.7481 Not religious 0.6945 0.6893 0.6884 0.7150 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 2 Religiosity and the Perception About Compatibility of Islam and Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1033*** 1.0991*** 1.1549*** 1.0879* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1799*** 1.1148* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 1.0182 1.0271 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9713 1.0146 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3284*** 0.3155*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9715 0.9510 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0011 1.0037 Gender (MALE) 0.9445 0.9502 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.3086*** 1.3166*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9708 0.8851** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0775*** 1.0763*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.2603** 1.5529*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9190*** 0.9051*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.8924*** 0.7967*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.7116*** 0.9275 Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 1.8377*** 2.1746*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 11,636 12,341 11,179 9,989 Wald chi-square 145.50 61.63 656.72 735.96 Pseudo R-square 0.0111 0.0041 0.0497 0.0671 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.7345 0.7282 0.7466 0.7481 Not religious 0.6945 0.6893 0.6884 0.7150 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1033*** 1.0991*** 1.1549*** 1.0879* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1799*** 1.1148* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 1.0182 1.0271 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9713 1.0146 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3284*** 0.3155*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9715 0.9510 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0011 1.0037 Gender (MALE) 0.9445 0.9502 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.3086*** 1.3166*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9708 0.8851** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0775*** 1.0763*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.2603** 1.5529*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9190*** 0.9051*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.8924*** 0.7967*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.7116*** 0.9275 Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 1.8377*** 2.1746*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 11,636 12,341 11,179 9,989 Wald chi-square 145.50 61.63 656.72 735.96 Pseudo R-square 0.0111 0.0041 0.0497 0.0671 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.7345 0.7282 0.7466 0.7481 Not religious 0.6945 0.6893 0.6884 0.7150 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 2 (Panel B) reports the predicted probabilities for RELIGIOSITY. The results from all models show that a religious respondent always has a higher probability of considering democracy to be consistent with Islamic principles than an otherwise comparable respondent who is not religious. For instance, predicted probabilities from Model (4)—the most comprehensive model—show that religious respondent has 74.81% chance of considering democracy to be consistent with Islamic teachings, while a respondent who is not religious has 71.50% chance of considering democracy to be consistent with Islamic teachings. There may be some concerns about the validity of variable used to represent religiosity. This variable appears to be subjective. To address this concern, we replace RELIGIOSITY with various characteristics related to religiosity in the Arab World (as well as in Muslim societies). For the purpose of this article, following variables are used as possible proxies for various characteristics related to religiosity. QURAN: This variable indicates whether respondent reads the Holy Quran. The survey assigns the value between 1 and 4 to this variable. The variable is recoded in a way that 1 will indicate reading/listening to the Holy Quran rarely and 4 will indicate reading/listening to the Holy Quran daily. Respondents with higher level of religiosity are more likely to read the Holy Quran daily. PRAY: This variable indicates whether respondent prays. The survey assigns the value between 1 and 4 to this variable. The variable is recoded in a way that 1 will indicate rarely praying and 4 will indicate always praying. The respondents with higher level of religiosity are more likely to pray frequently. PARTIES: This variable indicates the preference of respondents toward religious political parties (such as Muslim Brotherhood, Freedom and Justice Party, and Justice and Construction Party). This variable takes the value between 1 and 4, with 1 indicating not preferring religious political parties and 4 indicating strong preference for religious political parties. Respondents with higher level of religiosity are more likely to have strong preference for religious political parties. LEADERS: This variable indicates whether respondent trust religious leaders. The survey assigns the value between 1 and 4 to this variable. The variable is recoded in a way that 4 will indicate trusting religious leaders to a great extent and 1 will indicate no trust. The respondents with higher level of religiosity are more likely to trust religious leaders. After adding above variables, our regression equation takes the following form. This article estimates various versions of the following logistic equation. DEMOCRACY=α+β1QURAN+β2PRAY+β3PARTIES+β4LEADERS+β5SHARIAH+β6ENFORCE+β7DIFF+β8MINRIGHTS+β9SINGLE+β10AGE+β11MALE+β12GRADUATE+β13FINCOND+β14POLITICS+β15GDP+β16GROWTH+β17FDI+β18LAW+β19ACCOUNT+ɛ. (2) The results of our analysis are reported in Table 3. Our results in Panel A reveal some interesting insights into the factors that define the relationship between religiosity and the perception that Islam and democracy are compatible. Interestingly, our results show that respondents that go to the source of religion more often (respondents who ready the Holy Quran more frequently) are more likely to perceive that democracy is consistent with Islamic teachings. The results show that the odds ratio for QURAN is >1. We argue that going directly to the source of religion (the Holy Quran) strengthens the perception that there is no incompatibility between Islam and democracy. Similarly, the results also show that respondents that pray more frequently are also more likely to consider democracy as a system that is consistent with Islamic teachings. Our results show that the odds ratio for PRAY is >1. In case of other two characteristics related with religiosity (trust in religious leaders and preference for religious political parties), our results show no effect of these characteristics on the perception that Islam and democracy are compatible. Table 3 Religiosity (Various Characteristics) and the Perception About Compatibility of Islam and Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1104*** 1.0721** Frequency of Praying (PRAY) 1.1663*** 1.1906*** Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0225 0.9934 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 1.0019 0.9581 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1595*** 1.1423*** 1.0957 1.1593*** 1.1310* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.9920 0.9931 0.9985 1.0344 0.9597 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 1.0102 1.0084 1.0240 1.0200 1.0133 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3286*** 0.3249*** 0.3203*** 0.3253*** 0.3261*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9735 0.9866 0.9718 0.9485 0.9991 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0037 1.0036 1.0062*** 1.0046* 1.0043 Gender (MALE) 0.9547 0.9702 0.9757 0.9472 1.0173 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.2903*** 1.2965*** 1.3594*** 1.2744*** 1.3333*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.8740*** 0.8758*** 0.8155*** 0.8786*** 0.8086*** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0680*** 1.0698*** 1.1019*** 1.0814*** 1.0918*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.4498*** 1.4209*** 1.0798 1.4097*** 1.0918 Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9124*** 0.8982*** 0.8941*** 0.9058*** 0.8937*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.7960*** 0.8120*** 0.8554*** 0.8153*** 0.8511*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.8960 0.8697 0.6362*** 0.8500 0.6415*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.3749*** 2.2475*** 2.7025*** 2.2951*** 2.7500*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,020 10,040 7,902 9,834 7,591 Wald chi-square 713.70 730.51 615.95 704.91 625.88 Pseudo R-square 0.0652 0.0660 0.0699 0.0648 0.0741 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequently reading 0.7598 0.7461 Rarely reading 0.6753 0.6898 Frequency of praying (PRAY) Always praying 0.7504 0.7456 Rarely praying 0.6190 0.5932 Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Strong preference 0.7343 0.7307 No preference 0.7211 0.7346 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) High trust 0.7360 0.7200 Low trust 0.7349 0.7451 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1104*** 1.0721** Frequency of Praying (PRAY) 1.1663*** 1.1906*** Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0225 0.9934 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 1.0019 0.9581 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1595*** 1.1423*** 1.0957 1.1593*** 1.1310* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.9920 0.9931 0.9985 1.0344 0.9597 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 1.0102 1.0084 1.0240 1.0200 1.0133 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3286*** 0.3249*** 0.3203*** 0.3253*** 0.3261*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9735 0.9866 0.9718 0.9485 0.9991 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0037 1.0036 1.0062*** 1.0046* 1.0043 Gender (MALE) 0.9547 0.9702 0.9757 0.9472 1.0173 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.2903*** 1.2965*** 1.3594*** 1.2744*** 1.3333*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.8740*** 0.8758*** 0.8155*** 0.8786*** 0.8086*** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0680*** 1.0698*** 1.1019*** 1.0814*** 1.0918*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.4498*** 1.4209*** 1.0798 1.4097*** 1.0918 Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9124*** 0.8982*** 0.8941*** 0.9058*** 0.8937*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.7960*** 0.8120*** 0.8554*** 0.8153*** 0.8511*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.8960 0.8697 0.6362*** 0.8500 0.6415*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.3749*** 2.2475*** 2.7025*** 2.2951*** 2.7500*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,020 10,040 7,902 9,834 7,591 Wald chi-square 713.70 730.51 615.95 704.91 625.88 Pseudo R-square 0.0652 0.0660 0.0699 0.0648 0.0741 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequently reading 0.7598 0.7461 Rarely reading 0.6753 0.6898 Frequency of praying (PRAY) Always praying 0.7504 0.7456 Rarely praying 0.6190 0.5932 Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Strong preference 0.7343 0.7307 No preference 0.7211 0.7346 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) High trust 0.7360 0.7200 Low trust 0.7349 0.7451 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 3 Religiosity (Various Characteristics) and the Perception About Compatibility of Islam and Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1104*** 1.0721** Frequency of Praying (PRAY) 1.1663*** 1.1906*** Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0225 0.9934 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 1.0019 0.9581 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1595*** 1.1423*** 1.0957 1.1593*** 1.1310* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.9920 0.9931 0.9985 1.0344 0.9597 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 1.0102 1.0084 1.0240 1.0200 1.0133 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3286*** 0.3249*** 0.3203*** 0.3253*** 0.3261*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9735 0.9866 0.9718 0.9485 0.9991 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0037 1.0036 1.0062*** 1.0046* 1.0043 Gender (MALE) 0.9547 0.9702 0.9757 0.9472 1.0173 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.2903*** 1.2965*** 1.3594*** 1.2744*** 1.3333*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.8740*** 0.8758*** 0.8155*** 0.8786*** 0.8086*** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0680*** 1.0698*** 1.1019*** 1.0814*** 1.0918*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.4498*** 1.4209*** 1.0798 1.4097*** 1.0918 Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9124*** 0.8982*** 0.8941*** 0.9058*** 0.8937*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.7960*** 0.8120*** 0.8554*** 0.8153*** 0.8511*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.8960 0.8697 0.6362*** 0.8500 0.6415*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.3749*** 2.2475*** 2.7025*** 2.2951*** 2.7500*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,020 10,040 7,902 9,834 7,591 Wald chi-square 713.70 730.51 615.95 704.91 625.88 Pseudo R-square 0.0652 0.0660 0.0699 0.0648 0.0741 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequently reading 0.7598 0.7461 Rarely reading 0.6753 0.6898 Frequency of praying (PRAY) Always praying 0.7504 0.7456 Rarely praying 0.6190 0.5932 Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Strong preference 0.7343 0.7307 No preference 0.7211 0.7346 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) High trust 0.7360 0.7200 Low trust 0.7349 0.7451 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1104*** 1.0721** Frequency of Praying (PRAY) 1.1663*** 1.1906*** Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0225 0.9934 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 1.0019 0.9581 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1595*** 1.1423*** 1.0957 1.1593*** 1.1310* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.9920 0.9931 0.9985 1.0344 0.9597 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 1.0102 1.0084 1.0240 1.0200 1.0133 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3286*** 0.3249*** 0.3203*** 0.3253*** 0.3261*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9735 0.9866 0.9718 0.9485 0.9991 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0037 1.0036 1.0062*** 1.0046* 1.0043 Gender (MALE) 0.9547 0.9702 0.9757 0.9472 1.0173 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.2903*** 1.2965*** 1.3594*** 1.2744*** 1.3333*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.8740*** 0.8758*** 0.8155*** 0.8786*** 0.8086*** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0680*** 1.0698*** 1.1019*** 1.0814*** 1.0918*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.4498*** 1.4209*** 1.0798 1.4097*** 1.0918 Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9124*** 0.8982*** 0.8941*** 0.9058*** 0.8937*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.7960*** 0.8120*** 0.8554*** 0.8153*** 0.8511*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.8960 0.8697 0.6362*** 0.8500 0.6415*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.3749*** 2.2475*** 2.7025*** 2.2951*** 2.7500*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,020 10,040 7,902 9,834 7,591 Wald chi-square 713.70 730.51 615.95 704.91 625.88 Pseudo R-square 0.0652 0.0660 0.0699 0.0648 0.0741 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequently reading 0.7598 0.7461 Rarely reading 0.6753 0.6898 Frequency of praying (PRAY) Always praying 0.7504 0.7456 Rarely praying 0.6190 0.5932 Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Strong preference 0.7343 0.7307 No preference 0.7211 0.7346 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) High trust 0.7360 0.7200 Low trust 0.7349 0.7451 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 3 (Panel B) reports the predicted probabilities for QURAN, PRAY, PARTIES, and LEADERS. The results show that a respondent who frequently reads the Hoy Quran or always prays has higher probability of considering democracy to be consistent with Islamic principles than an otherwise comparable respondent who rarely reads the Holy Quran or rarely prays. This probability, according to Model (5), is 74.61% for respondent who frequently reads the Holy Quran and 74.56% for respondent who frequently prays. The corresponding probabilities for respondent who rarely reads the Holy Quran or rarely prays are 68.98 and 59.32%, respectively. Additional Tests Relationship Between Religiosity and Various Features of Democracy As an additional test, we reestimate Equation (1) by replacing DEMOCRACY with the following variables. These variables represent various features of democracy. It will help us shed greater light on the democratic attitudes related to respondents with religious leanings. Ability to Change Government: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers the opportunity to change government as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Ability to Criticize Government: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers the freedom to criticize government as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Provision of Basic Needs: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers provision of basic needs (housing, food, and clothing) as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Provision of Equal Political Rights: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers equality of political rights between citizens as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Elimination of Corruption: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers elimination of financial and administrative corruption as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Promoting Economic Equality: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers narrowing the gap between rich and poor as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. The results of our analysis are reported in Table 4. The most important observation from Table 4 (Panel A) is that respondents with higher levels of religiosity consider changing government (probably the most basic trait of functioning democracy) as the most important feature of democracy. The results show that the odds ratio for RELIGIOSITY is >1. Table 4 (Panel B) shows that a religious respondent has 24.53% chance of considering changing government as the most important feature of democracy, while a respondent who is not religious has 20.22% chance of considering changing government as the most important feature of democracy. Given that religious parties gained significant political gains after the Arab spring, it is of no surprise that religious respondents considered changing government as the most important feature of democracy. In our views, this result is important because it highlights the fact that religious individuals do understand that implementing their agenda goes through a process where they have to obtain votes of the majority. Our results also show that, when it comes to the provision of equal political rights, respondents with higher levels of religiosity do not consider it as an important feature of democracy. We report that the odds ratio for RELIGIOSITY is <1 in this case. Table 4 Religiosity and the Perception About Main Tenants of Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1322*** 1.0988 1.1278*** 0.8867** 0.8337*** 0.9027* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0367 1.0354 1.1197* 1.0327 0.8752** 0.9013 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8761*** 0.8913*** 1.1822*** 0.8726*** 1.1235*** 1.0913** Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9610 1.1272*** 1.0772** 1.0328 0.9890 0.8610*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.1028 1.2706*** 0.9535 0.8345** 0.9362 0.8623** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9814 0.9274 0.9876 0.9353 1.1255 1.0278 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9971 0.9914*** 1.0061*** 0.9949 1.0057** 1.0007 Gender (MALE) 1.2207*** 1.0795 0.9344 0.9425 0.8418*** 0.9675 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1838*** 0.8601 0.9161 1.1621 0.8566* 1.0233 Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9905 1.1607** 1.0034 1.0928 0.8624*** 0.9805 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0761*** 1.0901*** 0.8710*** 1.0845** 0.8547*** 1.0931*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6247*** 0.8279 1.4566*** 1.4595*** 0.8837 1.7657*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0887*** 1.0300 0.9473** 0.9439* 0.9406** 1.0257 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 1.0054 1.0264 0.9239*** 0.9649 0.9510* 1.1150*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5757*** 0.9093 0.9018 1.1260 1.3428*** 1.9555*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.6296*** 0.8140* 0.6664*** 1.0897 0.6953*** 0.6157*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 Wald chi-square 401.83 124.82 285.22 140.38 241.79 327.39 Pseudo R-square 0.0387 0.0145 0.0295 0.0186 0.0289 0.0410 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.2453 0.1390 0.1878 0.0958 0.1574 0.1276 Not religious 0.2022 0.1179 0.1538 0.1187 0.2118 0.1521 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1322*** 1.0988 1.1278*** 0.8867** 0.8337*** 0.9027* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0367 1.0354 1.1197* 1.0327 0.8752** 0.9013 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8761*** 0.8913*** 1.1822*** 0.8726*** 1.1235*** 1.0913** Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9610 1.1272*** 1.0772** 1.0328 0.9890 0.8610*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.1028 1.2706*** 0.9535 0.8345** 0.9362 0.8623** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9814 0.9274 0.9876 0.9353 1.1255 1.0278 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9971 0.9914*** 1.0061*** 0.9949 1.0057** 1.0007 Gender (MALE) 1.2207*** 1.0795 0.9344 0.9425 0.8418*** 0.9675 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1838*** 0.8601 0.9161 1.1621 0.8566* 1.0233 Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9905 1.1607** 1.0034 1.0928 0.8624*** 0.9805 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0761*** 1.0901*** 0.8710*** 1.0845** 0.8547*** 1.0931*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6247*** 0.8279 1.4566*** 1.4595*** 0.8837 1.7657*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0887*** 1.0300 0.9473** 0.9439* 0.9406** 1.0257 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 1.0054 1.0264 0.9239*** 0.9649 0.9510* 1.1150*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5757*** 0.9093 0.9018 1.1260 1.3428*** 1.9555*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.6296*** 0.8140* 0.6664*** 1.0897 0.6953*** 0.6157*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 Wald chi-square 401.83 124.82 285.22 140.38 241.79 327.39 Pseudo R-square 0.0387 0.0145 0.0295 0.0186 0.0289 0.0410 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.2453 0.1390 0.1878 0.0958 0.1574 0.1276 Not religious 0.2022 0.1179 0.1538 0.1187 0.2118 0.1521 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 4 Religiosity and the Perception About Main Tenants of Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1322*** 1.0988 1.1278*** 0.8867** 0.8337*** 0.9027* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0367 1.0354 1.1197* 1.0327 0.8752** 0.9013 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8761*** 0.8913*** 1.1822*** 0.8726*** 1.1235*** 1.0913** Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9610 1.1272*** 1.0772** 1.0328 0.9890 0.8610*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.1028 1.2706*** 0.9535 0.8345** 0.9362 0.8623** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9814 0.9274 0.9876 0.9353 1.1255 1.0278 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9971 0.9914*** 1.0061*** 0.9949 1.0057** 1.0007 Gender (MALE) 1.2207*** 1.0795 0.9344 0.9425 0.8418*** 0.9675 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1838*** 0.8601 0.9161 1.1621 0.8566* 1.0233 Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9905 1.1607** 1.0034 1.0928 0.8624*** 0.9805 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0761*** 1.0901*** 0.8710*** 1.0845** 0.8547*** 1.0931*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6247*** 0.8279 1.4566*** 1.4595*** 0.8837 1.7657*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0887*** 1.0300 0.9473** 0.9439* 0.9406** 1.0257 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 1.0054 1.0264 0.9239*** 0.9649 0.9510* 1.1150*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5757*** 0.9093 0.9018 1.1260 1.3428*** 1.9555*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.6296*** 0.8140* 0.6664*** 1.0897 0.6953*** 0.6157*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 Wald chi-square 401.83 124.82 285.22 140.38 241.79 327.39 Pseudo R-square 0.0387 0.0145 0.0295 0.0186 0.0289 0.0410 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.2453 0.1390 0.1878 0.0958 0.1574 0.1276 Not religious 0.2022 0.1179 0.1538 0.1187 0.2118 0.1521 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1322*** 1.0988 1.1278*** 0.8867** 0.8337*** 0.9027* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0367 1.0354 1.1197* 1.0327 0.8752** 0.9013 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8761*** 0.8913*** 1.1822*** 0.8726*** 1.1235*** 1.0913** Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9610 1.1272*** 1.0772** 1.0328 0.9890 0.8610*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.1028 1.2706*** 0.9535 0.8345** 0.9362 0.8623** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9814 0.9274 0.9876 0.9353 1.1255 1.0278 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9971 0.9914*** 1.0061*** 0.9949 1.0057** 1.0007 Gender (MALE) 1.2207*** 1.0795 0.9344 0.9425 0.8418*** 0.9675 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1838*** 0.8601 0.9161 1.1621 0.8566* 1.0233 Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9905 1.1607** 1.0034 1.0928 0.8624*** 0.9805 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0761*** 1.0901*** 0.8710*** 1.0845** 0.8547*** 1.0931*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6247*** 0.8279 1.4566*** 1.4595*** 0.8837 1.7657*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0887*** 1.0300 0.9473** 0.9439* 0.9406** 1.0257 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 1.0054 1.0264 0.9239*** 0.9649 0.9510* 1.1150*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5757*** 0.9093 0.9018 1.1260 1.3428*** 1.9555*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.6296*** 0.8140* 0.6664*** 1.0897 0.6953*** 0.6157*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 Wald chi-square 401.83 124.82 285.22 140.38 241.79 327.39 Pseudo R-square 0.0387 0.0145 0.0295 0.0186 0.0289 0.0410 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.2453 0.1390 0.1878 0.0958 0.1574 0.1276 Not religious 0.2022 0.1179 0.1538 0.1187 0.2118 0.1521 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Various Characteristics Related to Religiosity and Their Relationship With Various Features of Democracy As a last test, we reestimate Equation (2) by replacing DEMOCRACY with its various features (as defined above). The results of our analysis are reported in Table 5. An important observation from this table is that respondents who read the Holy Quran (major source of Islamic teachings) frequently consider changing government as the most important feature of democracy. Our results in Column (2) show that the odds ratio for QURAN is >1. In contrast to this finding, respondents that have high trust in religious leadership do not consider changing government as the most important feature of democracy. For them, promoting economic equality and elimination of corruption are the most important features of democracy. Our results in Column (6) and Column (7) show odds ratios with magnitude >1 for LEADERS. Table 5 Religiosity and the Perception About Main Tenants of Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Ability to criticize government Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1129*** 0.9598 0.9754 1.0384 0.8847*** 1.0144 Frequency of praying (PRAY) 0.9496 1.1951*** 1.1244* 0.8840*** 1.0260 0.8835*** Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 0.9339*** 0.9906 0.9557 0.9589 1.1032*** 1.0782* Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0439 0.9532 0.8515*** 1.2008*** 0.9225** 1.0455 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0778 1.0087 1.0873 1.0060 0.8836 0.9326 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8243*** 1.2159*** 0.9634 0.8984** 1.1289*** 1.0610 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9882 1.0606 1.0233 1.1699*** 0.9935 0.8162*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.2124*** 0.9435 0.8643 1.1524 0.9356 0.7923*** Marital status (SINGLE) 1.0178 0.9259 0.9217 0.9116 1.1603 1.0428 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9981 1.0044 0.9934 0.9918** 1.0059* 1.0021 Gender (MALE) 1.2317*** 0.9574 0.9654 1.0558 0.8443*** 0.9116 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1315 1.0241 1.0876 0.7940** 0.9099 1.0185 Financial condition (FINCOND) 1.0150 0.9329 1.1844* 1.1975** 0.8899 0.8989 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0570 0.8735*** 1.0717 1.1122*** 0.8690*** 1.0910** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6028*** 1.1842 1.8378*** 0.9882 0.9818 1.6294*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0977*** 0.9393* 0.9432 1.0002 0.9432* 1.0446 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.9962 0.9707 0.9410 0.9209** 0.9708 1.1409*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5736*** 0.7606* 1.4021** 0.8023 1.4800*** 2.0457*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.9994*** 0.7078*** 0.9219 0.9832 0.5625*** 0.5748*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 Wald chi-square 374.71 249.16 136.99 135.62 199.81 302.38 Pseudo R-square 0.0466 0.0343 0.0261 0.0226 0.0307 0.0503 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequency of praying (PRAY) Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Frequently reading Rarely reading Always praying Rarely praying High trust Low trust Strong preference No preference Ability to change government 0.2626 0.1884 0.2378 0.2772 0.2243 0.2620 0.2498 0.2264 Provision of basic needs 0.1689 0.1932 0.1855 0.1004 0.1731 0.1772 0.1680 0.1890 Provision of equal political rights 0.0975 0.1066 0.1041 0.0677 0.0942 0.1064 0.0859 0.1320 Ability to criticize government 0.1338 0.1172 0.1238 0.1880 0.1228 0.1370 0.1521 0.0938 Promoting economic equality 0.1519 0.2262 0.1706 0.1565 0.1895 0.1483 0.1577 0.1926 Elimination of corruption 0.1282 0.1219 0.1211 0.1845 0.1387 0.1139 0.1317 0.1171 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Ability to criticize government Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1129*** 0.9598 0.9754 1.0384 0.8847*** 1.0144 Frequency of praying (PRAY) 0.9496 1.1951*** 1.1244* 0.8840*** 1.0260 0.8835*** Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 0.9339*** 0.9906 0.9557 0.9589 1.1032*** 1.0782* Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0439 0.9532 0.8515*** 1.2008*** 0.9225** 1.0455 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0778 1.0087 1.0873 1.0060 0.8836 0.9326 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8243*** 1.2159*** 0.9634 0.8984** 1.1289*** 1.0610 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9882 1.0606 1.0233 1.1699*** 0.9935 0.8162*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.2124*** 0.9435 0.8643 1.1524 0.9356 0.7923*** Marital status (SINGLE) 1.0178 0.9259 0.9217 0.9116 1.1603 1.0428 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9981 1.0044 0.9934 0.9918** 1.0059* 1.0021 Gender (MALE) 1.2317*** 0.9574 0.9654 1.0558 0.8443*** 0.9116 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1315 1.0241 1.0876 0.7940** 0.9099 1.0185 Financial condition (FINCOND) 1.0150 0.9329 1.1844* 1.1975** 0.8899 0.8989 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0570 0.8735*** 1.0717 1.1122*** 0.8690*** 1.0910** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6028*** 1.1842 1.8378*** 0.9882 0.9818 1.6294*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0977*** 0.9393* 0.9432 1.0002 0.9432* 1.0446 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.9962 0.9707 0.9410 0.9209** 0.9708 1.1409*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5736*** 0.7606* 1.4021** 0.8023 1.4800*** 2.0457*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.9994*** 0.7078*** 0.9219 0.9832 0.5625*** 0.5748*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 Wald chi-square 374.71 249.16 136.99 135.62 199.81 302.38 Pseudo R-square 0.0466 0.0343 0.0261 0.0226 0.0307 0.0503 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequency of praying (PRAY) Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Frequently reading Rarely reading Always praying Rarely praying High trust Low trust Strong preference No preference Ability to change government 0.2626 0.1884 0.2378 0.2772 0.2243 0.2620 0.2498 0.2264 Provision of basic needs 0.1689 0.1932 0.1855 0.1004 0.1731 0.1772 0.1680 0.1890 Provision of equal political rights 0.0975 0.1066 0.1041 0.0677 0.0942 0.1064 0.0859 0.1320 Ability to criticize government 0.1338 0.1172 0.1238 0.1880 0.1228 0.1370 0.1521 0.0938 Promoting economic equality 0.1519 0.2262 0.1706 0.1565 0.1895 0.1483 0.1577 0.1926 Elimination of corruption 0.1282 0.1219 0.1211 0.1845 0.1387 0.1139 0.1317 0.1171 Note: The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 5 Religiosity and the Perception About Main Tenants of Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Ability to criticize government Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1129*** 0.9598 0.9754 1.0384 0.8847*** 1.0144 Frequency of praying (PRAY) 0.9496 1.1951*** 1.1244* 0.8840*** 1.0260 0.8835*** Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 0.9339*** 0.9906 0.9557 0.9589 1.1032*** 1.0782* Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0439 0.9532 0.8515*** 1.2008*** 0.9225** 1.0455 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0778 1.0087 1.0873 1.0060 0.8836 0.9326 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8243*** 1.2159*** 0.9634 0.8984** 1.1289*** 1.0610 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9882 1.0606 1.0233 1.1699*** 0.9935 0.8162*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.2124*** 0.9435 0.8643 1.1524 0.9356 0.7923*** Marital status (SINGLE) 1.0178 0.9259 0.9217 0.9116 1.1603 1.0428 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9981 1.0044 0.9934 0.9918** 1.0059* 1.0021 Gender (MALE) 1.2317*** 0.9574 0.9654 1.0558 0.8443*** 0.9116 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1315 1.0241 1.0876 0.7940** 0.9099 1.0185 Financial condition (FINCOND) 1.0150 0.9329 1.1844* 1.1975** 0.8899 0.8989 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0570 0.8735*** 1.0717 1.1122*** 0.8690*** 1.0910** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6028*** 1.1842 1.8378*** 0.9882 0.9818 1.6294*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0977*** 0.9393* 0.9432 1.0002 0.9432* 1.0446 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.9962 0.9707 0.9410 0.9209** 0.9708 1.1409*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5736*** 0.7606* 1.4021** 0.8023 1.4800*** 2.0457*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.9994*** 0.7078*** 0.9219 0.9832 0.5625*** 0.5748*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 Wald chi-square 374.71 249.16 136.99 135.62 199.81 302.38 Pseudo R-square 0.0466 0.0343 0.0261 0.0226 0.0307 0.0503 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequency of praying (PRAY) Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Frequently reading Rarely reading Always praying Rarely praying High trust Low trust Strong preference No preference Ability to change government 0.2626 0.1884 0.2378 0.2772 0.2243 0.2620 0.2498 0.2264 Provision of basic needs 0.1689 0.1932 0.1855 0.1004 0.1731 0.1772 0.1680 0.1890 Provision of equal political rights 0.0975 0.1066 0.1041 0.0677 0.0942 0.1064 0.0859 0.1320 Ability to criticize government 0.1338 0.1172 0.1238 0.1880 0.1228 0.1370 0.1521 0.0938 Promoting economic equality 0.1519 0.2262 0.1706 0.1565 0.1895 0.1483 0.1577 0.1926 Elimination of corruption 0.1282 0.1219 0.1211 0.1845 0.1387 0.1139 0.1317 0.1171 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Ability to criticize government Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1129*** 0.9598 0.9754 1.0384 0.8847*** 1.0144 Frequency of praying (PRAY) 0.9496 1.1951*** 1.1244* 0.8840*** 1.0260 0.8835*** Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 0.9339*** 0.9906 0.9557 0.9589 1.1032*** 1.0782* Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0439 0.9532 0.8515*** 1.2008*** 0.9225** 1.0455 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0778 1.0087 1.0873 1.0060 0.8836 0.9326 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8243*** 1.2159*** 0.9634 0.8984** 1.1289*** 1.0610 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9882 1.0606 1.0233 1.1699*** 0.9935 0.8162*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.2124*** 0.9435 0.8643 1.1524 0.9356 0.7923*** Marital status (SINGLE) 1.0178 0.9259 0.9217 0.9116 1.1603 1.0428 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9981 1.0044 0.9934 0.9918** 1.0059* 1.0021 Gender (MALE) 1.2317*** 0.9574 0.9654 1.0558 0.8443*** 0.9116 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1315 1.0241 1.0876 0.7940** 0.9099 1.0185 Financial condition (FINCOND) 1.0150 0.9329 1.1844* 1.1975** 0.8899 0.8989 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0570 0.8735*** 1.0717 1.1122*** 0.8690*** 1.0910** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6028*** 1.1842 1.8378*** 0.9882 0.9818 1.6294*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0977*** 0.9393* 0.9432 1.0002 0.9432* 1.0446 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.9962 0.9707 0.9410 0.9209** 0.9708 1.1409*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5736*** 0.7606* 1.4021** 0.8023 1.4800*** 2.0457*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.9994*** 0.7078*** 0.9219 0.9832 0.5625*** 0.5748*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 Wald chi-square 374.71 249.16 136.99 135.62 199.81 302.38 Pseudo R-square 0.0466 0.0343 0.0261 0.0226 0.0307 0.0503 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequency of praying (PRAY) Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Frequently reading Rarely reading Always praying Rarely praying High trust Low trust Strong preference No preference Ability to change government 0.2626 0.1884 0.2378 0.2772 0.2243 0.2620 0.2498 0.2264 Provision of basic needs 0.1689 0.1932 0.1855 0.1004 0.1731 0.1772 0.1680 0.1890 Provision of equal political rights 0.0975 0.1066 0.1041 0.0677 0.0942 0.1064 0.0859 0.1320 Ability to criticize government 0.1338 0.1172 0.1238 0.1880 0.1228 0.1370 0.1521 0.0938 Promoting economic equality 0.1519 0.2262 0.1706 0.1565 0.1895 0.1483 0.1577 0.1926 Elimination of corruption 0.1282 0.1219 0.1211 0.1845 0.1387 0.1139 0.1317 0.1171 Note: The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Our results also show that respondents who read the Holy Quran frequently do not consider promotion of economic equality as the basic trait of democracy. We report that the odds ratio for QURAN is <1 in Column (6). Our results also show that respondents who pray frequently consider the provision of basic needs and provision of equal political rights as the most important feature of democracy. Our results in Column (3) and Column (4) show that the odds ratios for PRAY are >1. However, for these respondents, ability to criticize government and elimination of poverty are not main features of democracy. We report that the odds ratios for PRAY are <1 in Column (5) and Column (7). In case of respondents that prefer religious political parties, we show that provision of equal political rights is not a main tenant of democracy for them. We report an odd ratio that is >1 in Column (4) for these respondents. Our results also show that these respondents consider ability to criticize the government as the most important feature of democracy. Conclusion Democracy and its compatibility with Islam has been a subject of intensive debate in the Muslim societies. There are segments of societies in the Muslim world that are averse to the idea of democracy. But, these are not the majority. Anecdotal evidence suggest that most Muslims support and actively participate in democratic practices. For instance, most of the Muslims live outside of the Arab world in countries that have functioning (but flawed) democracies. Millions of Muslims in these countries (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Turkey, and Malaysia) regularly go to the polls to elect their representatives. It seems that they do not have any issues with the compatibility of democracy with Islam. In this article, we use the data from Arab Barometer to document the relationship between religiosity and the perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. This study indicates that the extent of religiosity does not negatively affect the perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam in the Arab world. In fact, our results show that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. This article also shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for respondents that frequently read the Holy Quran (the source of religion) and respondents that pray daily. These are the most important expressions of religiosity in the Muslim world. Another interesting finding is that respondents with high trust in religious leadership or high preference for religious political parties also do not show a negative attitude toward democracy. The findings of this article, however, should be accepted with caution. The article shows a negative impact of religiosity on some important features of democracy. For example, this article shows that the odds of considering provision of equal political rights are lower for religious respondents. Equal political rights are core of a well-functioning democratic system. However, the support for elections—changing government—is much higher in religious respondents. This result is of considerable importance because it highlights the fact that religious individuals do understand that implementing their agenda goes through a process where they have to obtain votes of the majority. Such an attitude is more likely to dilute their views. Supplementary Data Supplementary Data are available at IJPOR online. Omar Farooq is an Associate Professor of Finance. His main areas of research are developmental economics and corporate governance. His research work has appeared in International Review of Finance, Applied Economics, Finance Research Letters, and Journal of Intellectual Capital. Khondker Aktaruzzaman is an Assistant Professor of Economics. His main area of research is developmental economics. His research work has appeared in Applied Economics. References Ahmad A. ( 2003 ). Islam and democracy: Text, tradition, and history . The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences , 20 , 20 – 45 . Anderson J. ( 2004 ). Does god matter, and if so whose god? Religion and democratization . Democratization , 11 , 192 – 217 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Choueiri Y. ( 1996 ). The political discourse of contemporary Islamist movements. In Sidahmed A. E. , Boulder A. (Eds.), Islamic fundamentalism . Colorado, USA : Westview Press . Esposito J. L. , Voll J. O. ( 1996 ). Islam and democracy . Oxford : Oxford University Press . Fukuyama F. ( 2001 , October 11). The west has won. The Guardian. Halliday F. ( 1999 ). Islam and the myth of confrontation . New York, NY : I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd . Hofmann S. R. ( 2004 ). Islam and democracy: Micro-level indications of compatibility . Comparative Political Studies , 37 , 652 – 676 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Huntington S. P. ( 1993 ). The clash of civilizations . Foreign Affairs , 72 , 22 – 49 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Islam M. N. , Islam M. S. ( 2017 ). Islam and democracy: Conflicts and congruence . Religions , 8 ( 6 ), 1 – 19 . Lewis B. ( 1996 ). Islam and liberal democracy: A historical overview . Journal of Democracy , 7 , 52 – 63 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Potrafke N. ( 2012 ). Islam and democracy . Public Choice , 151 , 185 – 192 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Potrafke N. ( 2013 ). Democracy and countries with Muslim majorities: A reply and update . Public Choice , 154 , 323 – 332 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Rowley C. K. , Smith N. ( 2009 ). Islam’s democracy paradox: Muslims claim to like democracy, so why do they have so little? Public Choice , 139 , 273 – 299 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Stepan A. ( 2001 ). The world’s religious systems and democracy. In Linz J. , Stepan A. (Eds.), Arguing Comparative Politics . Oxford : Oxford University Press . Tessler M. ( 2002 ). Islam and democracy in the Middle East: The impact of religious orientations on attitudes toward democracy in four Arab countries . Comparative Politics , 34 , 337 – 354 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Voll J. O. , Esposito J. L. ( 1994 ). Islam’s democratic essence . The Middle East Quarterly , 1 , 111 – 120 . Zakaria F. ( 2004 ). Islam, democracy, and constitutional liberalism . Political Science Quarterly , 119 ( 1 ), 1 – 20 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The World Association for Public Opinion Research. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Public Opinion Research Oxford University Press

Religiosity and Perception About Compatibility of Democracy With Islam: Evidence From the Arab World

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Oxford University Press
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© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The World Association for Public Opinion Research. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0954-2892
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1471-6909
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10.1093/ijpor/edy011
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Abstract

Abstract Using the data from Arab countries, this article shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. This article also shows that this result may be driven by two characteristics of religiosity: frequently reading the Holy Quran (the source of religion) and regularly praying. Our results show that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for respondents that read the Holy Quran frequently and for respondents that pray frequently. Our results also show that respondents with high trust in religious leadership or high preference for religious political parties do not show a negative attitude toward democracy. Is democracy compatible with Islam? The answer to this question has formed the basis for plentiful of public and academic debate. On one extreme are the commentators and academicians that consider no compatibility of democracy with Islam. For instance, Huntington (1993) argues that Muslim countries are infertile ground for democratic development. He notes that Islam is a civilization whose followers are convinced of the superiority of their culture. Therefore, they reject the western values, including democracy. Potrafke (2013) supports the arguments of Huntington (1993) by documenting that countries where Muslims are in majority are less democratic than countries where Muslims are in minority. Major theme in these findings is that there is something about Islam that makes Muslim societies resistant to democracy. The commentators and academicians supporting above findings stress that reliance on a fixed religious text, the emphasis on divine sovereignty, and the supposed lack of distinction between the religious and the political realm make Islam incompatible with democracy (Anderson, 2004; Fukuyama, 2001; Rowley & Smith, 2009). Contrary to above arguments, there are numerous scholars who note that those who consider Islam to be at odds with democracy focus on those interpretations of Islam that are conducive to authoritarianism and disregard those interpretations that promote democratic principles (Anderson, 2004; Hofmann, 2004). These scholars believe that Islamic traditions of shura (consultation), ijma (consensus), and ijtihad (independent reasoning) provide intellectual basis for the development of democratic institutions in Muslim societies (Esposito & Voll, 1996). Rashid Ghanoushi, Tunisian Islamist leader, notes that “If by democracy is meant the liberal model of government prevailing in the West, a system under which the people freely choose their representatives and leaders, in which there is an alternation of power, as well as all freedoms and human rights for the public, then Muslims will find nothing in their religion to oppose democracy.” The traditions of shura, ijma, and ijtihad have, therefore, resulted in a culture where pluralistic arguments and diversity of thought are openly accepted, thereby providing the rationale for developing democratic institutions. Without overly analyzing the validity of above arguments, this article notes that the debate on the compatibility of democracy with Islam should be viewed from the perspective of an ordinary Muslim. If democracy is indeed inconsistent with Islamic teachings, Muslims with religious leanings should be averse to it. However, if they do not see any contradiction between the two, they are more likely to accept democracy as a system of governance, thereby paving the way for promoting democratic culture and institutions in the Muslim world. This article argues that, what matters is not the theoretical debate on whether democracy is compatible with Islam, but what an ordinary Muslim thinks about the relationship between the two. The results of this article show that an ordinary religious Muslim does not see any contradiction between democracy and Islam. Using the data from third wave of Arab Barometer (collected over the period between 2012 and 2014), this article shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. This article argues that an ordinary religious Muslim comes across plentiful of Islamic traditions that tilt his opinion in the favor of democracy. For instance, considerable variations in the interpretations of religious laws (ijtihad) indicate to him that Islam tolerates difference of opinion—an important democratic tradition (Tessler, 2002). Furthermore, the traditions of consultation (shura) and consensus (ijma) signify the institutionalization of disagreements. It, further, provides an expression for democratic culture in Islam (Esposito & Voll, 1996). An interesting finding of this article is that odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for respondents that read the Holy Quran frequently than that for respondents that rarely read the Holy Quran. This result is of significant importance because our respondents are those that understand Arabic. These respondents are unlike vast majority of other Muslims that do not understand Arabic. This article argues that these respondents can go directly to the source of religion (the Holy Quran) and can make their own judgment. If the Quranic message is pro-democracy, the respondents who read (and therefore understand) the Holy Quran frequently will see no contradiction between Islam and democracy. Similar result is obtained for respondents that pray regularly. This article shows that odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for respondents that pray regularly than that for respondents that do not pray regularly. Furthermore, this article also shows no relationship between the preference of a respondent for religious political parties and his perception about compatibility between democracy and Islam. Similar findings are observed between the trust of a respondent in religious leadership and his perception about compatibility between democracy and Islam. While elaborating the democratic attitudes of religious respondents, this article also shows that respondents with higher levels of religiosity consider changing government (probably the most important characteristic of democracy) as the most important feature of democracy. Given that religious parties gained significant political gains after the Arab spring, it is of no surprise that religious respondents considered changing the government as the most important feature of democracy. Our results also indicate that this relationship may be driven by respondents who read the Holy Quran (major source of Islamic teachings) frequently. We show that these respondents consider changing government as the most important feature of democracy. This result is of significant importance because it highlights the fact that individuals who seek direct guidance from the source of religion (the Holy Quran) do understand that any agenda that needs to be implemented has to go through a process where majority has to agree with it. The remainder of the article is structured as follows: Section 2 briefly presents motivation and background for this article. Section 3 summarizes the data, and Section 4 presents methodology along with the main results. Section 5 presents additional tests, and the article concludes with Section 6. Motivation and Background This article is an attempt to document the extent to which religiosity affects one’s attitude toward democracy. More specifically, this article aims to answer the following question: Do religious Muslims consider democracy to be inconsistent with Islamic principles? Many commentators and researchers argue that there is something about Islam that makes Muslim societies resistant to democracy (Huntington, 1993; Lewis, 1996; Potrafke, 2012, 2013). One of the criticisms forwarded by them regarding incompatibility of Islam and democracy is that Islam encourages intellectual conformity and an uncritical acceptance of authority. They argue that such a notion of intellectual conformity and acceptance of authority is against democracy, which requires tolerance of divergent views, pluralism, and openness (Tessler, 2002). They note that, in Islam, sovereignty rests in God, and everyone should derive all authorities (including political authority) from His laws. Therefore, Muslim societies are, essentially, not democratic (Choueiri, 1996; Zakaria, 2004). Contrary to above arguments, this article rests its case on an assumption that any discussion about compatibility between Islam and democracy is a false premise (Halliday, 1999). This article argues that Islam cannot be referred to as of one form. Islam, as it is practiced today, has several different sects and different schools of thought within each sect. Each sect and each school of thought differ considerable from each other. For instance, Sunnis differ from Shiites, and Malkis differ from Hanafis within Sunni sect. As a result, one observes that the core doctrine of Islam is subject to a variety of interpretations—an important characteristic of present day Islam. This article argues this plurality highlights the room for democratic traditions in Muslim societies. Our argument lends its support from extant literature, such as Anderson (2004) and Stepan (2001), who note that Islam is not inherently incompatible with democratic governance. Stepan (2001), in fact, argues that Islamic traditions contain certain intellectual resources that can be called on in support of democracy. One of the examples cited in this regard (according to Sunni school of thought) is that the Prophet (PBUH) passed away without appointing a successor. He did not give any instruction that would indicate his choice of successor. He left it to the Muslims to decide who they want to appoint as their leader. In the beginning, there was a disagreement among Muslims on who should be the successor of the Prophet (PBUH), but eventually consensus was reached and the successor was appointed with the vote of the majority. It indicates that the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) did not establish dictatorship or monarchy. In fact, they choose democratic traditions for themselves. Furthermore, many Islamic scholars argue that democratic characteristics (such as tolerance of divergent views, pluralism, and openness) are a part of the fundamental teachings of Islam. They note that there are certain traditions in Islam, such as ijtihad (independent reasoning), shura (consultation), and ijma (consensus), which have allowed Islamic societies to incorporate democratic values, such as openness, competition, pluralism, and tolerance of diversity. The tradition of ijtihad, for instance, allows scholars to interpret or reinterpret the Islamic laws (to an extent) and come up with new interpretations based on their own reasoning. The tradition of ijtihad has, therefore, resulted in situations where intellectuals belonging to different sects or within same sect have come to conclusions that are completely different from each other (Anderson, 2004). Khurshid Ahmed, an influential Islamic scholar, argues that: “God revealed only broad (general) principles… It is through the ijtihad that people of every age try to implement and apply divine guidance to the problems of their times.” It indicates that Islam is averse to adapting to new political realities and new emerging circumstances. The tradition of shura is similar to a modern day parliament. It is an integral part of Islamic political architecture. It dictates the society to organize the political life around a consultative decision-making body (for instance, the parliament), thereby providing mechanism for the members of society to contribute to the decision-making process. The tradition of shura gets its support from various chapters (for example, Chapter 3 and Chapter 42) of the Holy Quran, where Muslims are advised to consult each other on matters related to them. The Quranic verses suggest that shura is a praiseworthy lifestyle of a true believer. According to Islamic traditions, shura is of two kinds: first is the consultation of the ruler with Muslims regarding matters concerning them, and second is the consultation among Muslims about how to administer their own affairs. Both types of shura ensure that the ruler and the subjects actively take part in decision-making. Given that consultation (such as what is done in modern parliaments) is essential component of democracy, this article argues that the tradition of shura has resulted in fertile ground for democracy in Muslim societies. The Islamic traditions consider ijma as a major source of legislation. It gets its support from the life of Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) used to seek advice of his companions and occasionally followed their suggestions (Ahmad, 2003). Voll and Esposito (1994) note that ijma provides great possibilities for developing democracies in Muslim countries. The consensus that emerges out of ijma is a mechanism to ensure that power is not monopolized by the few—an important characteristic of democracy. It also provides a basis for accepting the majority rule—another characteristic of democracy. Therefore, it is argued that ijma offers not only a way to legitimize the democracy but also provides a procedure to carry it out. Based on above arguments, this article argues that Muslim societies should not be averse to democracy. In fact, they are closer to democratic values than what is suggested (Hofmann, 2004; Islam & Islam, 2017). It is for this reason that there are numerous religious political parties in many parts of the Muslim world. Data This article uses the data from Arab Barometer Wave 3 to document the impact of religiosity on perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam. The data for Wave 3 is collected after the Arab Spring during the period between 2012 and 2014. The countries included in the analysis are: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. For the purpose of this analysis, this article uses the responses provided by the Muslims. Non-Muslims constituted around 3% of the sample and were dropped from the analysis. Following sub-sections will explain the data in detail. Main Variables Main variables required to answer our research question are related to religiosity and perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam. DEMOCRACY: The Arab Barometer asks respondents to rate whether democracy contradicts the teachings of Islam. Based on the answer to this question, we construct a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 for respondents who do not agree with this proposition and 0 for those who agree with this proposition. RELIGIOSITY: To define religiosity of respondent, this article uses the answer of respondents to the question of whether they consider themselves as religious, somewhat religious or not religious. This variable takes the value of 1 for respondents who are not religious, 2 for those who are somewhat religious, and 3 for respondents who are religious. Table 1 documents the average values of both variables. Table 1 shows that majority of respondents do not see any contradiction between Islam and democracy. However, there is significant variation across countries regarding the perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam. On one extreme is Egypt, where >91% of respondents think that democracy is consistent with Islamic teachings, while on the other extreme is Jordan, where around 61% of respondents think that Islam and democracy are compatible. Table 1 also shows that majority of respondents characterize themselves as religious or somewhat religious. The average value falls between 2 and 3 in all of the countries. An important insight that emerges from Table 1 is that most of respondents characterize themselves as religious and see no contradiction between democracy and Islam. Table 1 Descriptive Statistics Country DEMOCRACY RELIGIOSITY Total respondents Algeria 0.7477 2.1585 1,003 Egypt 0.9170 2.4170 952 Iraq 0.7649 2.3593 1,102 Jordan 0.6102 2.3514 1,673 Kuwait 0.7566 2.4240 974 Lebanon 0.7230 2.1520 697 Morocco 0.7638 2.3207 957 Palestine 0.6878 2.3572 1,131 Sudan 0.7647 2.5358 1,088 Tunisia 0.6365 2.1767 996 Yemen 0.6180 2.1655 1,063 Total sample 0.7140 2.3027 11,636 Country DEMOCRACY RELIGIOSITY Total respondents Algeria 0.7477 2.1585 1,003 Egypt 0.9170 2.4170 952 Iraq 0.7649 2.3593 1,102 Jordan 0.6102 2.3514 1,673 Kuwait 0.7566 2.4240 974 Lebanon 0.7230 2.1520 697 Morocco 0.7638 2.3207 957 Palestine 0.6878 2.3572 1,131 Sudan 0.7647 2.5358 1,088 Tunisia 0.6365 2.1767 996 Yemen 0.6180 2.1655 1,063 Total sample 0.7140 2.3027 11,636 Table 1 Descriptive Statistics Country DEMOCRACY RELIGIOSITY Total respondents Algeria 0.7477 2.1585 1,003 Egypt 0.9170 2.4170 952 Iraq 0.7649 2.3593 1,102 Jordan 0.6102 2.3514 1,673 Kuwait 0.7566 2.4240 974 Lebanon 0.7230 2.1520 697 Morocco 0.7638 2.3207 957 Palestine 0.6878 2.3572 1,131 Sudan 0.7647 2.5358 1,088 Tunisia 0.6365 2.1767 996 Yemen 0.6180 2.1655 1,063 Total sample 0.7140 2.3027 11,636 Country DEMOCRACY RELIGIOSITY Total respondents Algeria 0.7477 2.1585 1,003 Egypt 0.9170 2.4170 952 Iraq 0.7649 2.3593 1,102 Jordan 0.6102 2.3514 1,673 Kuwait 0.7566 2.4240 974 Lebanon 0.7230 2.1520 697 Morocco 0.7638 2.3207 957 Palestine 0.6878 2.3572 1,131 Sudan 0.7647 2.5358 1,088 Tunisia 0.6365 2.1767 996 Yemen 0.6180 2.1655 1,063 Total sample 0.7140 2.3027 11,636 Control Variables This article uses following set of control variables. All of these variables are expected to affect the perception about compatibility of Islam and democracy. Definitions of the following variables are provided in Appendix A. First set of variables control for the understandings of respondents regarding the religion. These variables include the following: Attitude toward shariah (SHARIAH), attitude toward enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE), difference of opinion in religious matters (DIFF), and political rights of non-Muslims (MINRIGHTS). Second set of control variables include following personal characteristics of respondents: Marital status (SINGLE), age (AGE), gender (MALE), education (GRADUATE), financial condition (FINCOND), and interest in politics (POLITICS). Last set of control variables includes the following country-level characteristics: log of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (GDP), GDP growth rate (GROWTH), foreign direct investment as a percent of GDP (foreign direct investment [FDI]), rule of law (LAW), and accountability (ACCOUNT). Methodology and Results To test the effect of religiosity on the perception that Islam and democracy are compatible, we estimate various versions of the following logistic regression. The data were gathered during the period between 2012 and 2014. DEMOCRACY=α+β1RELIGIOSITY+β2SHARIAH+β3ENFORCE+β4DIFF+β5MINRIGHTS+β6SINGLE+β7AGE+β8MALE+β9GRADUATE+β10FINCOND+β11POLITICS+β12GDP+β13GROWTH+β14FDI+β15LAW+β16ACCOUNT+ɛ. (1) Table 2 (Panel A) reports odds ratio for variables used in our analysis. Our results show that the odds ratio for RELIGIOSITY is always >1. It indicates that odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are always higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. For instance, our estimation from Model (4) shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam for more religious respondents is 1.0879 times that for less religious respondents. Our results are consistent with those studies that argue that democracy and Islam are compatible (Esposito & Voll, 1996; Hofmann, 2004). Table 2 Religiosity and the Perception About Compatibility of Islam and Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1033*** 1.0991*** 1.1549*** 1.0879* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1799*** 1.1148* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 1.0182 1.0271 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9713 1.0146 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3284*** 0.3155*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9715 0.9510 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0011 1.0037 Gender (MALE) 0.9445 0.9502 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.3086*** 1.3166*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9708 0.8851** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0775*** 1.0763*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.2603** 1.5529*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9190*** 0.9051*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.8924*** 0.7967*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.7116*** 0.9275 Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 1.8377*** 2.1746*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 11,636 12,341 11,179 9,989 Wald chi-square 145.50 61.63 656.72 735.96 Pseudo R-square 0.0111 0.0041 0.0497 0.0671 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.7345 0.7282 0.7466 0.7481 Not religious 0.6945 0.6893 0.6884 0.7150 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1033*** 1.0991*** 1.1549*** 1.0879* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1799*** 1.1148* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 1.0182 1.0271 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9713 1.0146 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3284*** 0.3155*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9715 0.9510 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0011 1.0037 Gender (MALE) 0.9445 0.9502 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.3086*** 1.3166*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9708 0.8851** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0775*** 1.0763*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.2603** 1.5529*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9190*** 0.9051*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.8924*** 0.7967*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.7116*** 0.9275 Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 1.8377*** 2.1746*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 11,636 12,341 11,179 9,989 Wald chi-square 145.50 61.63 656.72 735.96 Pseudo R-square 0.0111 0.0041 0.0497 0.0671 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.7345 0.7282 0.7466 0.7481 Not religious 0.6945 0.6893 0.6884 0.7150 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 2 Religiosity and the Perception About Compatibility of Islam and Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1033*** 1.0991*** 1.1549*** 1.0879* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1799*** 1.1148* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 1.0182 1.0271 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9713 1.0146 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3284*** 0.3155*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9715 0.9510 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0011 1.0037 Gender (MALE) 0.9445 0.9502 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.3086*** 1.3166*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9708 0.8851** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0775*** 1.0763*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.2603** 1.5529*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9190*** 0.9051*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.8924*** 0.7967*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.7116*** 0.9275 Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 1.8377*** 2.1746*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 11,636 12,341 11,179 9,989 Wald chi-square 145.50 61.63 656.72 735.96 Pseudo R-square 0.0111 0.0041 0.0497 0.0671 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.7345 0.7282 0.7466 0.7481 Not religious 0.6945 0.6893 0.6884 0.7150 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1033*** 1.0991*** 1.1549*** 1.0879* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1799*** 1.1148* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 1.0182 1.0271 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9713 1.0146 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3284*** 0.3155*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9715 0.9510 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0011 1.0037 Gender (MALE) 0.9445 0.9502 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.3086*** 1.3166*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9708 0.8851** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0775*** 1.0763*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.2603** 1.5529*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9190*** 0.9051*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.8924*** 0.7967*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.7116*** 0.9275 Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 1.8377*** 2.1746*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 11,636 12,341 11,179 9,989 Wald chi-square 145.50 61.63 656.72 735.96 Pseudo R-square 0.0111 0.0041 0.0497 0.0671 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.7345 0.7282 0.7466 0.7481 Not religious 0.6945 0.6893 0.6884 0.7150 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 2 (Panel B) reports the predicted probabilities for RELIGIOSITY. The results from all models show that a religious respondent always has a higher probability of considering democracy to be consistent with Islamic principles than an otherwise comparable respondent who is not religious. For instance, predicted probabilities from Model (4)—the most comprehensive model—show that religious respondent has 74.81% chance of considering democracy to be consistent with Islamic teachings, while a respondent who is not religious has 71.50% chance of considering democracy to be consistent with Islamic teachings. There may be some concerns about the validity of variable used to represent religiosity. This variable appears to be subjective. To address this concern, we replace RELIGIOSITY with various characteristics related to religiosity in the Arab World (as well as in Muslim societies). For the purpose of this article, following variables are used as possible proxies for various characteristics related to religiosity. QURAN: This variable indicates whether respondent reads the Holy Quran. The survey assigns the value between 1 and 4 to this variable. The variable is recoded in a way that 1 will indicate reading/listening to the Holy Quran rarely and 4 will indicate reading/listening to the Holy Quran daily. Respondents with higher level of religiosity are more likely to read the Holy Quran daily. PRAY: This variable indicates whether respondent prays. The survey assigns the value between 1 and 4 to this variable. The variable is recoded in a way that 1 will indicate rarely praying and 4 will indicate always praying. The respondents with higher level of religiosity are more likely to pray frequently. PARTIES: This variable indicates the preference of respondents toward religious political parties (such as Muslim Brotherhood, Freedom and Justice Party, and Justice and Construction Party). This variable takes the value between 1 and 4, with 1 indicating not preferring religious political parties and 4 indicating strong preference for religious political parties. Respondents with higher level of religiosity are more likely to have strong preference for religious political parties. LEADERS: This variable indicates whether respondent trust religious leaders. The survey assigns the value between 1 and 4 to this variable. The variable is recoded in a way that 4 will indicate trusting religious leaders to a great extent and 1 will indicate no trust. The respondents with higher level of religiosity are more likely to trust religious leaders. After adding above variables, our regression equation takes the following form. This article estimates various versions of the following logistic equation. DEMOCRACY=α+β1QURAN+β2PRAY+β3PARTIES+β4LEADERS+β5SHARIAH+β6ENFORCE+β7DIFF+β8MINRIGHTS+β9SINGLE+β10AGE+β11MALE+β12GRADUATE+β13FINCOND+β14POLITICS+β15GDP+β16GROWTH+β17FDI+β18LAW+β19ACCOUNT+ɛ. (2) The results of our analysis are reported in Table 3. Our results in Panel A reveal some interesting insights into the factors that define the relationship between religiosity and the perception that Islam and democracy are compatible. Interestingly, our results show that respondents that go to the source of religion more often (respondents who ready the Holy Quran more frequently) are more likely to perceive that democracy is consistent with Islamic teachings. The results show that the odds ratio for QURAN is >1. We argue that going directly to the source of religion (the Holy Quran) strengthens the perception that there is no incompatibility between Islam and democracy. Similarly, the results also show that respondents that pray more frequently are also more likely to consider democracy as a system that is consistent with Islamic teachings. Our results show that the odds ratio for PRAY is >1. In case of other two characteristics related with religiosity (trust in religious leaders and preference for religious political parties), our results show no effect of these characteristics on the perception that Islam and democracy are compatible. Table 3 Religiosity (Various Characteristics) and the Perception About Compatibility of Islam and Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1104*** 1.0721** Frequency of Praying (PRAY) 1.1663*** 1.1906*** Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0225 0.9934 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 1.0019 0.9581 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1595*** 1.1423*** 1.0957 1.1593*** 1.1310* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.9920 0.9931 0.9985 1.0344 0.9597 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 1.0102 1.0084 1.0240 1.0200 1.0133 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3286*** 0.3249*** 0.3203*** 0.3253*** 0.3261*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9735 0.9866 0.9718 0.9485 0.9991 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0037 1.0036 1.0062*** 1.0046* 1.0043 Gender (MALE) 0.9547 0.9702 0.9757 0.9472 1.0173 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.2903*** 1.2965*** 1.3594*** 1.2744*** 1.3333*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.8740*** 0.8758*** 0.8155*** 0.8786*** 0.8086*** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0680*** 1.0698*** 1.1019*** 1.0814*** 1.0918*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.4498*** 1.4209*** 1.0798 1.4097*** 1.0918 Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9124*** 0.8982*** 0.8941*** 0.9058*** 0.8937*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.7960*** 0.8120*** 0.8554*** 0.8153*** 0.8511*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.8960 0.8697 0.6362*** 0.8500 0.6415*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.3749*** 2.2475*** 2.7025*** 2.2951*** 2.7500*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,020 10,040 7,902 9,834 7,591 Wald chi-square 713.70 730.51 615.95 704.91 625.88 Pseudo R-square 0.0652 0.0660 0.0699 0.0648 0.0741 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequently reading 0.7598 0.7461 Rarely reading 0.6753 0.6898 Frequency of praying (PRAY) Always praying 0.7504 0.7456 Rarely praying 0.6190 0.5932 Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Strong preference 0.7343 0.7307 No preference 0.7211 0.7346 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) High trust 0.7360 0.7200 Low trust 0.7349 0.7451 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1104*** 1.0721** Frequency of Praying (PRAY) 1.1663*** 1.1906*** Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0225 0.9934 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 1.0019 0.9581 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1595*** 1.1423*** 1.0957 1.1593*** 1.1310* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.9920 0.9931 0.9985 1.0344 0.9597 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 1.0102 1.0084 1.0240 1.0200 1.0133 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3286*** 0.3249*** 0.3203*** 0.3253*** 0.3261*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9735 0.9866 0.9718 0.9485 0.9991 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0037 1.0036 1.0062*** 1.0046* 1.0043 Gender (MALE) 0.9547 0.9702 0.9757 0.9472 1.0173 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.2903*** 1.2965*** 1.3594*** 1.2744*** 1.3333*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.8740*** 0.8758*** 0.8155*** 0.8786*** 0.8086*** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0680*** 1.0698*** 1.1019*** 1.0814*** 1.0918*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.4498*** 1.4209*** 1.0798 1.4097*** 1.0918 Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9124*** 0.8982*** 0.8941*** 0.9058*** 0.8937*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.7960*** 0.8120*** 0.8554*** 0.8153*** 0.8511*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.8960 0.8697 0.6362*** 0.8500 0.6415*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.3749*** 2.2475*** 2.7025*** 2.2951*** 2.7500*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,020 10,040 7,902 9,834 7,591 Wald chi-square 713.70 730.51 615.95 704.91 625.88 Pseudo R-square 0.0652 0.0660 0.0699 0.0648 0.0741 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequently reading 0.7598 0.7461 Rarely reading 0.6753 0.6898 Frequency of praying (PRAY) Always praying 0.7504 0.7456 Rarely praying 0.6190 0.5932 Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Strong preference 0.7343 0.7307 No preference 0.7211 0.7346 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) High trust 0.7360 0.7200 Low trust 0.7349 0.7451 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 3 Religiosity (Various Characteristics) and the Perception About Compatibility of Islam and Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1104*** 1.0721** Frequency of Praying (PRAY) 1.1663*** 1.1906*** Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0225 0.9934 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 1.0019 0.9581 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1595*** 1.1423*** 1.0957 1.1593*** 1.1310* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.9920 0.9931 0.9985 1.0344 0.9597 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 1.0102 1.0084 1.0240 1.0200 1.0133 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3286*** 0.3249*** 0.3203*** 0.3253*** 0.3261*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9735 0.9866 0.9718 0.9485 0.9991 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0037 1.0036 1.0062*** 1.0046* 1.0043 Gender (MALE) 0.9547 0.9702 0.9757 0.9472 1.0173 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.2903*** 1.2965*** 1.3594*** 1.2744*** 1.3333*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.8740*** 0.8758*** 0.8155*** 0.8786*** 0.8086*** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0680*** 1.0698*** 1.1019*** 1.0814*** 1.0918*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.4498*** 1.4209*** 1.0798 1.4097*** 1.0918 Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9124*** 0.8982*** 0.8941*** 0.9058*** 0.8937*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.7960*** 0.8120*** 0.8554*** 0.8153*** 0.8511*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.8960 0.8697 0.6362*** 0.8500 0.6415*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.3749*** 2.2475*** 2.7025*** 2.2951*** 2.7500*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,020 10,040 7,902 9,834 7,591 Wald chi-square 713.70 730.51 615.95 704.91 625.88 Pseudo R-square 0.0652 0.0660 0.0699 0.0648 0.0741 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequently reading 0.7598 0.7461 Rarely reading 0.6753 0.6898 Frequency of praying (PRAY) Always praying 0.7504 0.7456 Rarely praying 0.6190 0.5932 Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Strong preference 0.7343 0.7307 No preference 0.7211 0.7346 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) High trust 0.7360 0.7200 Low trust 0.7349 0.7451 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1104*** 1.0721** Frequency of Praying (PRAY) 1.1663*** 1.1906*** Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0225 0.9934 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 1.0019 0.9581 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.1595*** 1.1423*** 1.0957 1.1593*** 1.1310* Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.9920 0.9931 0.9985 1.0344 0.9597 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 1.0102 1.0084 1.0240 1.0200 1.0133 Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 0.3286*** 0.3249*** 0.3203*** 0.3253*** 0.3261*** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9735 0.9866 0.9718 0.9485 0.9991 Age of respondent (AGE) 1.0037 1.0036 1.0062*** 1.0046* 1.0043 Gender (MALE) 0.9547 0.9702 0.9757 0.9472 1.0173 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.2903*** 1.2965*** 1.3594*** 1.2744*** 1.3333*** Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.8740*** 0.8758*** 0.8155*** 0.8786*** 0.8086*** Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0680*** 1.0698*** 1.1019*** 1.0814*** 1.0918*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 1.4498*** 1.4209*** 1.0798 1.4097*** 1.0918 Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 0.9124*** 0.8982*** 0.8941*** 0.9058*** 0.8937*** Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.7960*** 0.8120*** 0.8554*** 0.8153*** 0.8511*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.8960 0.8697 0.6362*** 0.8500 0.6415*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.3749*** 2.2475*** 2.7025*** 2.2951*** 2.7500*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,020 10,040 7,902 9,834 7,591 Wald chi-square 713.70 730.51 615.95 704.91 625.88 Pseudo R-square 0.0652 0.0660 0.0699 0.0648 0.0741 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Model (1) Model (2) Model (3) Model (4) Model (5) Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequently reading 0.7598 0.7461 Rarely reading 0.6753 0.6898 Frequency of praying (PRAY) Always praying 0.7504 0.7456 Rarely praying 0.6190 0.5932 Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Strong preference 0.7343 0.7307 No preference 0.7211 0.7346 Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) High trust 0.7360 0.7200 Low trust 0.7349 0.7451 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 3 (Panel B) reports the predicted probabilities for QURAN, PRAY, PARTIES, and LEADERS. The results show that a respondent who frequently reads the Hoy Quran or always prays has higher probability of considering democracy to be consistent with Islamic principles than an otherwise comparable respondent who rarely reads the Holy Quran or rarely prays. This probability, according to Model (5), is 74.61% for respondent who frequently reads the Holy Quran and 74.56% for respondent who frequently prays. The corresponding probabilities for respondent who rarely reads the Holy Quran or rarely prays are 68.98 and 59.32%, respectively. Additional Tests Relationship Between Religiosity and Various Features of Democracy As an additional test, we reestimate Equation (1) by replacing DEMOCRACY with the following variables. These variables represent various features of democracy. It will help us shed greater light on the democratic attitudes related to respondents with religious leanings. Ability to Change Government: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers the opportunity to change government as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Ability to Criticize Government: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers the freedom to criticize government as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Provision of Basic Needs: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers provision of basic needs (housing, food, and clothing) as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Provision of Equal Political Rights: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers equality of political rights between citizens as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Elimination of Corruption: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers elimination of financial and administrative corruption as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. Promoting Economic Equality: This variable is a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if respondent considers narrowing the gap between rich and poor as the most important feature of democracy and 0 otherwise. The results of our analysis are reported in Table 4. The most important observation from Table 4 (Panel A) is that respondents with higher levels of religiosity consider changing government (probably the most basic trait of functioning democracy) as the most important feature of democracy. The results show that the odds ratio for RELIGIOSITY is >1. Table 4 (Panel B) shows that a religious respondent has 24.53% chance of considering changing government as the most important feature of democracy, while a respondent who is not religious has 20.22% chance of considering changing government as the most important feature of democracy. Given that religious parties gained significant political gains after the Arab spring, it is of no surprise that religious respondents considered changing government as the most important feature of democracy. In our views, this result is important because it highlights the fact that religious individuals do understand that implementing their agenda goes through a process where they have to obtain votes of the majority. Our results also show that, when it comes to the provision of equal political rights, respondents with higher levels of religiosity do not consider it as an important feature of democracy. We report that the odds ratio for RELIGIOSITY is <1 in this case. Table 4 Religiosity and the Perception About Main Tenants of Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1322*** 1.0988 1.1278*** 0.8867** 0.8337*** 0.9027* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0367 1.0354 1.1197* 1.0327 0.8752** 0.9013 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8761*** 0.8913*** 1.1822*** 0.8726*** 1.1235*** 1.0913** Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9610 1.1272*** 1.0772** 1.0328 0.9890 0.8610*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.1028 1.2706*** 0.9535 0.8345** 0.9362 0.8623** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9814 0.9274 0.9876 0.9353 1.1255 1.0278 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9971 0.9914*** 1.0061*** 0.9949 1.0057** 1.0007 Gender (MALE) 1.2207*** 1.0795 0.9344 0.9425 0.8418*** 0.9675 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1838*** 0.8601 0.9161 1.1621 0.8566* 1.0233 Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9905 1.1607** 1.0034 1.0928 0.8624*** 0.9805 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0761*** 1.0901*** 0.8710*** 1.0845** 0.8547*** 1.0931*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6247*** 0.8279 1.4566*** 1.4595*** 0.8837 1.7657*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0887*** 1.0300 0.9473** 0.9439* 0.9406** 1.0257 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 1.0054 1.0264 0.9239*** 0.9649 0.9510* 1.1150*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5757*** 0.9093 0.9018 1.1260 1.3428*** 1.9555*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.6296*** 0.8140* 0.6664*** 1.0897 0.6953*** 0.6157*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 Wald chi-square 401.83 124.82 285.22 140.38 241.79 327.39 Pseudo R-square 0.0387 0.0145 0.0295 0.0186 0.0289 0.0410 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.2453 0.1390 0.1878 0.0958 0.1574 0.1276 Not religious 0.2022 0.1179 0.1538 0.1187 0.2118 0.1521 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1322*** 1.0988 1.1278*** 0.8867** 0.8337*** 0.9027* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0367 1.0354 1.1197* 1.0327 0.8752** 0.9013 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8761*** 0.8913*** 1.1822*** 0.8726*** 1.1235*** 1.0913** Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9610 1.1272*** 1.0772** 1.0328 0.9890 0.8610*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.1028 1.2706*** 0.9535 0.8345** 0.9362 0.8623** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9814 0.9274 0.9876 0.9353 1.1255 1.0278 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9971 0.9914*** 1.0061*** 0.9949 1.0057** 1.0007 Gender (MALE) 1.2207*** 1.0795 0.9344 0.9425 0.8418*** 0.9675 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1838*** 0.8601 0.9161 1.1621 0.8566* 1.0233 Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9905 1.1607** 1.0034 1.0928 0.8624*** 0.9805 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0761*** 1.0901*** 0.8710*** 1.0845** 0.8547*** 1.0931*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6247*** 0.8279 1.4566*** 1.4595*** 0.8837 1.7657*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0887*** 1.0300 0.9473** 0.9439* 0.9406** 1.0257 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 1.0054 1.0264 0.9239*** 0.9649 0.9510* 1.1150*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5757*** 0.9093 0.9018 1.1260 1.3428*** 1.9555*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.6296*** 0.8140* 0.6664*** 1.0897 0.6953*** 0.6157*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 Wald chi-square 401.83 124.82 285.22 140.38 241.79 327.39 Pseudo R-square 0.0387 0.0145 0.0295 0.0186 0.0289 0.0410 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.2453 0.1390 0.1878 0.0958 0.1574 0.1276 Not religious 0.2022 0.1179 0.1538 0.1187 0.2118 0.1521 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 4 Religiosity and the Perception About Main Tenants of Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1322*** 1.0988 1.1278*** 0.8867** 0.8337*** 0.9027* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0367 1.0354 1.1197* 1.0327 0.8752** 0.9013 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8761*** 0.8913*** 1.1822*** 0.8726*** 1.1235*** 1.0913** Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9610 1.1272*** 1.0772** 1.0328 0.9890 0.8610*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.1028 1.2706*** 0.9535 0.8345** 0.9362 0.8623** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9814 0.9274 0.9876 0.9353 1.1255 1.0278 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9971 0.9914*** 1.0061*** 0.9949 1.0057** 1.0007 Gender (MALE) 1.2207*** 1.0795 0.9344 0.9425 0.8418*** 0.9675 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1838*** 0.8601 0.9161 1.1621 0.8566* 1.0233 Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9905 1.1607** 1.0034 1.0928 0.8624*** 0.9805 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0761*** 1.0901*** 0.8710*** 1.0845** 0.8547*** 1.0931*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6247*** 0.8279 1.4566*** 1.4595*** 0.8837 1.7657*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0887*** 1.0300 0.9473** 0.9439* 0.9406** 1.0257 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 1.0054 1.0264 0.9239*** 0.9649 0.9510* 1.1150*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5757*** 0.9093 0.9018 1.1260 1.3428*** 1.9555*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.6296*** 0.8140* 0.6664*** 1.0897 0.6953*** 0.6157*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 Wald chi-square 401.83 124.82 285.22 140.38 241.79 327.39 Pseudo R-square 0.0387 0.0145 0.0295 0.0186 0.0289 0.0410 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.2453 0.1390 0.1878 0.0958 0.1574 0.1276 Not religious 0.2022 0.1179 0.1538 0.1187 0.2118 0.1521 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) 1.1322*** 1.0988 1.1278*** 0.8867** 0.8337*** 0.9027* Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0367 1.0354 1.1197* 1.0327 0.8752** 0.9013 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8761*** 0.8913*** 1.1822*** 0.8726*** 1.1235*** 1.0913** Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9610 1.1272*** 1.0772** 1.0328 0.9890 0.8610*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.1028 1.2706*** 0.9535 0.8345** 0.9362 0.8623** Marital status (SINGLE) 0.9814 0.9274 0.9876 0.9353 1.1255 1.0278 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9971 0.9914*** 1.0061*** 0.9949 1.0057** 1.0007 Gender (MALE) 1.2207*** 1.0795 0.9344 0.9425 0.8418*** 0.9675 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1838*** 0.8601 0.9161 1.1621 0.8566* 1.0233 Financial condition (FINCOND) 0.9905 1.1607** 1.0034 1.0928 0.8624*** 0.9805 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0761*** 1.0901*** 0.8710*** 1.0845** 0.8547*** 1.0931*** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6247*** 0.8279 1.4566*** 1.4595*** 0.8837 1.7657*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0887*** 1.0300 0.9473** 0.9439* 0.9406** 1.0257 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 1.0054 1.0264 0.9239*** 0.9649 0.9510* 1.1150*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5757*** 0.9093 0.9018 1.1260 1.3428*** 1.9555*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.6296*** 0.8140* 0.6664*** 1.0897 0.6953*** 0.6157*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 10,311 Wald chi-square 401.83 124.82 285.22 140.38 241.79 327.39 Pseudo R-square 0.0387 0.0145 0.0295 0.0186 0.0289 0.0410 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Ability to change government Ability to criticize government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Extent of religiosity (RELIGIOSITY) Religious 0.2453 0.1390 0.1878 0.0958 0.1574 0.1276 Not religious 0.2022 0.1179 0.1538 0.1187 0.2118 0.1521 Note. The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Various Characteristics Related to Religiosity and Their Relationship With Various Features of Democracy As a last test, we reestimate Equation (2) by replacing DEMOCRACY with its various features (as defined above). The results of our analysis are reported in Table 5. An important observation from this table is that respondents who read the Holy Quran (major source of Islamic teachings) frequently consider changing government as the most important feature of democracy. Our results in Column (2) show that the odds ratio for QURAN is >1. In contrast to this finding, respondents that have high trust in religious leadership do not consider changing government as the most important feature of democracy. For them, promoting economic equality and elimination of corruption are the most important features of democracy. Our results in Column (6) and Column (7) show odds ratios with magnitude >1 for LEADERS. Table 5 Religiosity and the Perception About Main Tenants of Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Ability to criticize government Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1129*** 0.9598 0.9754 1.0384 0.8847*** 1.0144 Frequency of praying (PRAY) 0.9496 1.1951*** 1.1244* 0.8840*** 1.0260 0.8835*** Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 0.9339*** 0.9906 0.9557 0.9589 1.1032*** 1.0782* Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0439 0.9532 0.8515*** 1.2008*** 0.9225** 1.0455 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0778 1.0087 1.0873 1.0060 0.8836 0.9326 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8243*** 1.2159*** 0.9634 0.8984** 1.1289*** 1.0610 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9882 1.0606 1.0233 1.1699*** 0.9935 0.8162*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.2124*** 0.9435 0.8643 1.1524 0.9356 0.7923*** Marital status (SINGLE) 1.0178 0.9259 0.9217 0.9116 1.1603 1.0428 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9981 1.0044 0.9934 0.9918** 1.0059* 1.0021 Gender (MALE) 1.2317*** 0.9574 0.9654 1.0558 0.8443*** 0.9116 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1315 1.0241 1.0876 0.7940** 0.9099 1.0185 Financial condition (FINCOND) 1.0150 0.9329 1.1844* 1.1975** 0.8899 0.8989 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0570 0.8735*** 1.0717 1.1122*** 0.8690*** 1.0910** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6028*** 1.1842 1.8378*** 0.9882 0.9818 1.6294*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0977*** 0.9393* 0.9432 1.0002 0.9432* 1.0446 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.9962 0.9707 0.9410 0.9209** 0.9708 1.1409*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5736*** 0.7606* 1.4021** 0.8023 1.4800*** 2.0457*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.9994*** 0.7078*** 0.9219 0.9832 0.5625*** 0.5748*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 Wald chi-square 374.71 249.16 136.99 135.62 199.81 302.38 Pseudo R-square 0.0466 0.0343 0.0261 0.0226 0.0307 0.0503 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequency of praying (PRAY) Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Frequently reading Rarely reading Always praying Rarely praying High trust Low trust Strong preference No preference Ability to change government 0.2626 0.1884 0.2378 0.2772 0.2243 0.2620 0.2498 0.2264 Provision of basic needs 0.1689 0.1932 0.1855 0.1004 0.1731 0.1772 0.1680 0.1890 Provision of equal political rights 0.0975 0.1066 0.1041 0.0677 0.0942 0.1064 0.0859 0.1320 Ability to criticize government 0.1338 0.1172 0.1238 0.1880 0.1228 0.1370 0.1521 0.0938 Promoting economic equality 0.1519 0.2262 0.1706 0.1565 0.1895 0.1483 0.1577 0.1926 Elimination of corruption 0.1282 0.1219 0.1211 0.1845 0.1387 0.1139 0.1317 0.1171 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Ability to criticize government Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1129*** 0.9598 0.9754 1.0384 0.8847*** 1.0144 Frequency of praying (PRAY) 0.9496 1.1951*** 1.1244* 0.8840*** 1.0260 0.8835*** Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 0.9339*** 0.9906 0.9557 0.9589 1.1032*** 1.0782* Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0439 0.9532 0.8515*** 1.2008*** 0.9225** 1.0455 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0778 1.0087 1.0873 1.0060 0.8836 0.9326 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8243*** 1.2159*** 0.9634 0.8984** 1.1289*** 1.0610 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9882 1.0606 1.0233 1.1699*** 0.9935 0.8162*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.2124*** 0.9435 0.8643 1.1524 0.9356 0.7923*** Marital status (SINGLE) 1.0178 0.9259 0.9217 0.9116 1.1603 1.0428 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9981 1.0044 0.9934 0.9918** 1.0059* 1.0021 Gender (MALE) 1.2317*** 0.9574 0.9654 1.0558 0.8443*** 0.9116 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1315 1.0241 1.0876 0.7940** 0.9099 1.0185 Financial condition (FINCOND) 1.0150 0.9329 1.1844* 1.1975** 0.8899 0.8989 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0570 0.8735*** 1.0717 1.1122*** 0.8690*** 1.0910** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6028*** 1.1842 1.8378*** 0.9882 0.9818 1.6294*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0977*** 0.9393* 0.9432 1.0002 0.9432* 1.0446 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.9962 0.9707 0.9410 0.9209** 0.9708 1.1409*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5736*** 0.7606* 1.4021** 0.8023 1.4800*** 2.0457*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.9994*** 0.7078*** 0.9219 0.9832 0.5625*** 0.5748*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 Wald chi-square 374.71 249.16 136.99 135.62 199.81 302.38 Pseudo R-square 0.0466 0.0343 0.0261 0.0226 0.0307 0.0503 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequency of praying (PRAY) Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Frequently reading Rarely reading Always praying Rarely praying High trust Low trust Strong preference No preference Ability to change government 0.2626 0.1884 0.2378 0.2772 0.2243 0.2620 0.2498 0.2264 Provision of basic needs 0.1689 0.1932 0.1855 0.1004 0.1731 0.1772 0.1680 0.1890 Provision of equal political rights 0.0975 0.1066 0.1041 0.0677 0.0942 0.1064 0.0859 0.1320 Ability to criticize government 0.1338 0.1172 0.1238 0.1880 0.1228 0.1370 0.1521 0.0938 Promoting economic equality 0.1519 0.2262 0.1706 0.1565 0.1895 0.1483 0.1577 0.1926 Elimination of corruption 0.1282 0.1219 0.1211 0.1845 0.1387 0.1139 0.1317 0.1171 Note: The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Table 5 Religiosity and the Perception About Main Tenants of Democracy Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Ability to criticize government Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1129*** 0.9598 0.9754 1.0384 0.8847*** 1.0144 Frequency of praying (PRAY) 0.9496 1.1951*** 1.1244* 0.8840*** 1.0260 0.8835*** Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 0.9339*** 0.9906 0.9557 0.9589 1.1032*** 1.0782* Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0439 0.9532 0.8515*** 1.2008*** 0.9225** 1.0455 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0778 1.0087 1.0873 1.0060 0.8836 0.9326 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8243*** 1.2159*** 0.9634 0.8984** 1.1289*** 1.0610 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9882 1.0606 1.0233 1.1699*** 0.9935 0.8162*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.2124*** 0.9435 0.8643 1.1524 0.9356 0.7923*** Marital status (SINGLE) 1.0178 0.9259 0.9217 0.9116 1.1603 1.0428 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9981 1.0044 0.9934 0.9918** 1.0059* 1.0021 Gender (MALE) 1.2317*** 0.9574 0.9654 1.0558 0.8443*** 0.9116 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1315 1.0241 1.0876 0.7940** 0.9099 1.0185 Financial condition (FINCOND) 1.0150 0.9329 1.1844* 1.1975** 0.8899 0.8989 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0570 0.8735*** 1.0717 1.1122*** 0.8690*** 1.0910** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6028*** 1.1842 1.8378*** 0.9882 0.9818 1.6294*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0977*** 0.9393* 0.9432 1.0002 0.9432* 1.0446 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.9962 0.9707 0.9410 0.9209** 0.9708 1.1409*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5736*** 0.7606* 1.4021** 0.8023 1.4800*** 2.0457*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.9994*** 0.7078*** 0.9219 0.9832 0.5625*** 0.5748*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 Wald chi-square 374.71 249.16 136.99 135.62 199.81 302.38 Pseudo R-square 0.0466 0.0343 0.0261 0.0226 0.0307 0.0503 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequency of praying (PRAY) Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Frequently reading Rarely reading Always praying Rarely praying High trust Low trust Strong preference No preference Ability to change government 0.2626 0.1884 0.2378 0.2772 0.2243 0.2620 0.2498 0.2264 Provision of basic needs 0.1689 0.1932 0.1855 0.1004 0.1731 0.1772 0.1680 0.1890 Provision of equal political rights 0.0975 0.1066 0.1041 0.0677 0.0942 0.1064 0.0859 0.1320 Ability to criticize government 0.1338 0.1172 0.1238 0.1880 0.1228 0.1370 0.1521 0.0938 Promoting economic equality 0.1519 0.2262 0.1706 0.1565 0.1895 0.1483 0.1577 0.1926 Elimination of corruption 0.1282 0.1219 0.1211 0.1845 0.1387 0.1139 0.1317 0.1171 Panel A: Regression coefficients Variables Ability to change government Provision of basic needs Provision of equal political rights Ability to criticize government Promoting economic equality Elimination of corruption Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) 1.1129*** 0.9598 0.9754 1.0384 0.8847*** 1.0144 Frequency of praying (PRAY) 0.9496 1.1951*** 1.1244* 0.8840*** 1.0260 0.8835*** Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) 0.9339*** 0.9906 0.9557 0.9589 1.1032*** 1.0782* Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) 1.0439 0.9532 0.8515*** 1.2008*** 0.9225** 1.0455 Interpretation of shariah (SHARIAH) 1.0778 1.0087 1.0873 1.0060 0.8836 0.9326 Enforcement of shariah (ENFORCE) 0.8243*** 1.2159*** 0.9634 0.8984** 1.1289*** 1.0610 Difference of opinion (DIFF) 0.9882 1.0606 1.0233 1.1699*** 0.9935 0.8162*** Non-Muslim rights (MINRIGHTS) 1.2124*** 0.9435 0.8643 1.1524 0.9356 0.7923*** Marital status (SINGLE) 1.0178 0.9259 0.9217 0.9116 1.1603 1.0428 Age of respondent (AGE) 0.9981 1.0044 0.9934 0.9918** 1.0059* 1.0021 Gender (MALE) 1.2317*** 0.9574 0.9654 1.0558 0.8443*** 0.9116 Level of education (GRADUATE) 1.1315 1.0241 1.0876 0.7940** 0.9099 1.0185 Financial condition (FINCOND) 1.0150 0.9329 1.1844* 1.1975** 0.8899 0.8989 Interest in politics (POLITICS) 1.0570 0.8735*** 1.0717 1.1122*** 0.8690*** 1.0910** Gross domestic product (GDP) 0.6028*** 1.1842 1.8378*** 0.9882 0.9818 1.6294*** Growth in GDP (GROWTH) 1.0977*** 0.9393* 0.9432 1.0002 0.9432* 1.0446 Foreign direct investment (FDI) 0.9962 0.9707 0.9410 0.9209** 0.9708 1.1409*** Rule of law index (LAW) 0.5736*** 0.7606* 1.4021** 0.8023 1.4800*** 2.0457*** Accountability index (ACCOUNT) 2.9994*** 0.7078*** 0.9219 0.9832 0.5625*** 0.5748*** Year dummies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Observations 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 7,778 Wald chi-square 374.71 249.16 136.99 135.62 199.81 302.38 Pseudo R-square 0.0466 0.0343 0.0261 0.0226 0.0307 0.0503 Panel B: Predicted probabilities Variables Reading the Holy Quran (QURAN) Frequency of praying (PRAY) Trust in religious leadership (LEADERS) Preference for religious parties (PARTIES) Frequently reading Rarely reading Always praying Rarely praying High trust Low trust Strong preference No preference Ability to change government 0.2626 0.1884 0.2378 0.2772 0.2243 0.2620 0.2498 0.2264 Provision of basic needs 0.1689 0.1932 0.1855 0.1004 0.1731 0.1772 0.1680 0.1890 Provision of equal political rights 0.0975 0.1066 0.1041 0.0677 0.0942 0.1064 0.0859 0.1320 Ability to criticize government 0.1338 0.1172 0.1238 0.1880 0.1228 0.1370 0.1521 0.0938 Promoting economic equality 0.1519 0.2262 0.1706 0.1565 0.1895 0.1483 0.1577 0.1926 Elimination of corruption 0.1282 0.1219 0.1211 0.1845 0.1387 0.1139 0.1317 0.1171 Note: The coefficients with 1% significance are followed by ***, coefficient with 2% by **, and coefficients with 5% by *. Our results also show that respondents who read the Holy Quran frequently do not consider promotion of economic equality as the basic trait of democracy. We report that the odds ratio for QURAN is <1 in Column (6). Our results also show that respondents who pray frequently consider the provision of basic needs and provision of equal political rights as the most important feature of democracy. Our results in Column (3) and Column (4) show that the odds ratios for PRAY are >1. However, for these respondents, ability to criticize government and elimination of poverty are not main features of democracy. We report that the odds ratios for PRAY are <1 in Column (5) and Column (7). In case of respondents that prefer religious political parties, we show that provision of equal political rights is not a main tenant of democracy for them. We report an odd ratio that is >1 in Column (4) for these respondents. Our results also show that these respondents consider ability to criticize the government as the most important feature of democracy. Conclusion Democracy and its compatibility with Islam has been a subject of intensive debate in the Muslim societies. There are segments of societies in the Muslim world that are averse to the idea of democracy. But, these are not the majority. Anecdotal evidence suggest that most Muslims support and actively participate in democratic practices. For instance, most of the Muslims live outside of the Arab world in countries that have functioning (but flawed) democracies. Millions of Muslims in these countries (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Turkey, and Malaysia) regularly go to the polls to elect their representatives. It seems that they do not have any issues with the compatibility of democracy with Islam. In this article, we use the data from Arab Barometer to document the relationship between religiosity and the perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. This study indicates that the extent of religiosity does not negatively affect the perception about compatibility of democracy with Islam in the Arab world. In fact, our results show that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. This article also shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for respondents that frequently read the Holy Quran (the source of religion) and respondents that pray daily. These are the most important expressions of religiosity in the Muslim world. Another interesting finding is that respondents with high trust in religious leadership or high preference for religious political parties also do not show a negative attitude toward democracy. The findings of this article, however, should be accepted with caution. The article shows a negative impact of religiosity on some important features of democracy. For example, this article shows that the odds of considering provision of equal political rights are lower for religious respondents. Equal political rights are core of a well-functioning democratic system. However, the support for elections—changing government—is much higher in religious respondents. This result is of considerable importance because it highlights the fact that religious individuals do understand that implementing their agenda goes through a process where they have to obtain votes of the majority. Such an attitude is more likely to dilute their views. Supplementary Data Supplementary Data are available at IJPOR online. Omar Farooq is an Associate Professor of Finance. His main areas of research are developmental economics and corporate governance. His research work has appeared in International Review of Finance, Applied Economics, Finance Research Letters, and Journal of Intellectual Capital. Khondker Aktaruzzaman is an Assistant Professor of Economics. His main area of research is developmental economics. His research work has appeared in Applied Economics. References Ahmad A. ( 2003 ). Islam and democracy: Text, tradition, and history . The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences , 20 , 20 – 45 . Anderson J. ( 2004 ). Does god matter, and if so whose god? Religion and democratization . Democratization , 11 , 192 – 217 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Choueiri Y. ( 1996 ). The political discourse of contemporary Islamist movements. In Sidahmed A. E. , Boulder A. (Eds.), Islamic fundamentalism . Colorado, USA : Westview Press . Esposito J. L. , Voll J. O. ( 1996 ). Islam and democracy . Oxford : Oxford University Press . Fukuyama F. ( 2001 , October 11). The west has won. The Guardian. Halliday F. ( 1999 ). Islam and the myth of confrontation . New York, NY : I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd . Hofmann S. R. ( 2004 ). Islam and democracy: Micro-level indications of compatibility . Comparative Political Studies , 37 , 652 – 676 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Huntington S. P. ( 1993 ). The clash of civilizations . Foreign Affairs , 72 , 22 – 49 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Islam M. N. , Islam M. S. ( 2017 ). Islam and democracy: Conflicts and congruence . Religions , 8 ( 6 ), 1 – 19 . Lewis B. ( 1996 ). Islam and liberal democracy: A historical overview . Journal of Democracy , 7 , 52 – 63 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Potrafke N. ( 2012 ). Islam and democracy . Public Choice , 151 , 185 – 192 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Potrafke N. ( 2013 ). Democracy and countries with Muslim majorities: A reply and update . Public Choice , 154 , 323 – 332 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Rowley C. K. , Smith N. ( 2009 ). Islam’s democracy paradox: Muslims claim to like democracy, so why do they have so little? Public Choice , 139 , 273 – 299 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Stepan A. ( 2001 ). The world’s religious systems and democracy. In Linz J. , Stepan A. (Eds.), Arguing Comparative Politics . Oxford : Oxford University Press . Tessler M. ( 2002 ). Islam and democracy in the Middle East: The impact of religious orientations on attitudes toward democracy in four Arab countries . Comparative Politics , 34 , 337 – 354 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Voll J. O. , Esposito J. L. ( 1994 ). Islam’s democratic essence . The Middle East Quarterly , 1 , 111 – 120 . Zakaria F. ( 2004 ). Islam, democracy, and constitutional liberalism . Political Science Quarterly , 119 ( 1 ), 1 – 20 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The World Association for Public Opinion Research. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)

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International Journal of Public Opinion ResearchOxford University Press

Published: Mar 22, 2018

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