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Islamic republic is the name given to several states in countries ruled by Islamic laws, including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mauritania. Pakistan first adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty. Afghanistan adopted it in 1992 (in 1996-2001 the Taliban was ruling as an Islamic emirate (monarchy)) upon Jamiat-e Islami seizing capital Kabul from the Communists. Despite the similar name the countries differ greatly in their governments and laws.
The term Islamic republic has come to mean several different things, some contradictory to others. To some Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East and Africa who advocate it, an Islamic Republic is a state under a particular Islamic form of government. They see it as a compromise between a purely Islamic Caliphate, and secular nationalism and republicanism. In their conception of the Islamic republic, the penal code of the state is required to be compatible with some or all laws of Sharia, and the state may not be a monarchy as many Middle Eastern states are presently.
Iran's Islamic republic is in contrast to the semi-secular state of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, where Islamic laws are technically considered to override laws of the state, though in reality their relative hierarchy is ambiguous. The Islamic Republic of Iran came into existence following the Iranian Revolution and a national referendum announced on 1 April 1979.
The Turkic Uyghur- and Kirghiz-controlled Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan was declared in 1933 as an independent Islamic republic, by Sabit Damulla Abdulbaki and Muhammad Amin Bughra. However, the Chinese Muslim 36th Division of the National Revolutionary Army defeated their armies and destroyed the republic during the Battles of Kashgar, Yangi Hissar and Yarkand. The Chinese Muslim Generals Ma Fuyuan and Ma Zhancang declared the destruction of the rebel forces and the return of the area to the control of the Republic of China in 1934, followed by the executions of the Turkic Muslim Emirs Abdullah Bughra and Nur Ahmad Jan Bughra. The Chinese Muslim General Ma Zhongying then entered the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, and lectured the Turkic Muslims on being loyal to the Central Government.
Pakistan was the first country to adopt the adjective "Islamic" to modify its republican status under its otherwise secular constitution in 1956. Despite this definition the country did not have a state religion until 1973, when a new constitution, more democratic and less secular, was adopted. Pakistan only uses the "Islamic" name on its passports, visas and coins. Although Islamic Republic is specifically mentioned in the Constitution of 1973, all government documents are prepared under the name of the Government of Pakistan. The Constitution of Pakistan, part IX, article 227 says "All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such Injunctions". In 1974, Pakistan declared Ahmadis as being outside the pale of Islam through the 2nd Amendment. Since the 1980s under General Zia's dictatorship however Pakistan is said to have taken a definite theocratic color.
In December 2015, President Yahya Jammeh declared The Gambia to be an Islamic republic. Jammeh said that the move was designed to distance the West African state from its colonial past, and that no dress code would be imposed and citizens of other faiths would be allowed to practise freely. However, he later ordered all female government employees to wear headscarves and the announcement of an Islamic republic has been criticized as unconstitutional by at least one opposition group.
- Sharia by country
- Islamic state
- Religious police
- Political aspects of Islam
- Christian republic
- Jewish state
- Chahryar Adle, Madhavan K. Palat, Anara Tabyshalieva (2005). History of Civilizations of Central Asia: Towards the contemporary period : from the mid-nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century. UNESCO. p. 395. ISBN 92-3-103985-7. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- Constitution of Pakistan, Part IX, Article 227
- "Gambia declared Islamic republic by President Yahya Jammeh". BBC. 12 December 2015.
- Rifai, Ryan (12 December 2015) "Gambia's president declares Islamic statehood". Al-Jazeera. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- Ankerl, Guy (2000). Global communication without universal civilization. INU societal research. Vol.1: Coexisting contemporary civilizations : Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INU Press. ISBN 2-88155-004-5.