chapter  15
Religious democracy
Pages 14

The term 'religious democracy' entered Iran's political discussions intensively in the year 2000, in response to debates among Iranian religious authorities. Religious democracy is a distinctive and the authentic form of democracy supported by religious faith and responsibilities. Ayatollah Khamenei makes a correlation between democracy and governance and democracy and morality. Khatami's 'novel political discourse and political theory' under the rule of law was in sharp contrast to Khomeini-Khamenei's revolutionary ideologue and rhetoric. A democratic political system holds free and all-inclusive elections and a transparent and accountable government supports the system. The supporters of the absolute vilayat-i faqih believed that the only form of Islamic government during the occultation of the infallible Imam and its execution is a binding religious duty on society. As an advocate of elective vilayat-i faqih, Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri challenged Supreme Leader Khamenei's principle of leadership. Montazeri believed in the limited powers of the Supreme Leader and gave more weight to the public's role in government.