Note: This fieldwork is supported by Global Religion Research Initiative at Notre Dame University (Award #BG5225). University Research Compliance Office at Kansas State University has reviewed the field proposal and approved it (IRB approval #8776).
Note: The interviews were nonstructured. Therefore, some variation in the question wording was introduced and some additional questions were asked during the interviews.
1.Nowadays, people talk about justice a lot. Do you also find yourself talking about justice lately?
2.How do you define justice and social justice?
3.Does this definition include an economic dimension or a political dimension? Can you explain?
4.Do you ever feel that justice is violated in your workplace? In social life? Among your friends? In politics? Can you talk about these instances?
5.Do you think religious people are always just?
6.Does Islam as a religious system promote justice? What kind? Can you provide any examples from Koran or Islamic History?
7.Is social justice more likely in an Islamic state? Why, can you explain?
8.Assume that you are presented with two choices. In each option, the leaders will implement social justice policies to help the poor, reduce poverty and inequality, and create impartial courts. Which one would you prefer: (1) An authoritarian regime ruled by religious leaders who want to rule according to the Islamic principles. (2) A democracy but secular regime where religion plays a lesser role in government.
9.Can there be a Muslim democracy? If yes, do you think this regime will be better in establishing social, economic, and political justice?
10.Do you consider yourself a religious person? What does this involve as a practice and identity? Can you elaborate?
11.Some people talk about a Damascus model while others refer to the Medina model in terms of political formulas in Muslim history. Are you familiar with this debate? If not, here is a description. The Damascus model refers to establishing power and order at the expense of social justice and Islamic ethics whereas the Medina model refers to Islam’s ethical values. Which position do you find yourself closer to? Can you explain?
12.Do you think social justice policies are more likely to be successful in secular democracies or in Muslim democracies? Can you explain?
13.Would you rather support a benevolent dictator than a nonreligious democrat if the benevolent dictator rules the country according to Islamic principles?
14.Do you feel responsibility for removing a religious but nondemocratic leader from power if this ruler is religious in the name of justice? Why or why not? What would you do?