Islamic republics shown in green.
An Islamic republic is the name given to several states in countries ruled by Islamic laws, including the Islamic Republics of
The Gambia. 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
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.