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Islamic Republic vs Islamic State: What’s The Difference?

In December 2015, the president of The Gambia
declared that his country would become an Islamic Republic. Headlines have referred
to the new designation as an “Islamic State”. However, The Gambia is actually joining the
ranks of other Islamic Republics, all of which have no affiliation with the terrorist group.
So what exactly is an Islamic Republic? And how is this different from an Islamic State?
Well, although they’re used interchangeably, they have clear differences. An islamic republic
is an elected, democratic government that is primarily based on sharia law, which is
in accordance with Muslim scripture. An Islamic republic operates similarly to other non-religious
republics, however the specific title is self-applied. Although a number of countries may fit the
bill for an Islamic republic, like Iraq, they do not use the term. Historically, nations
have applied this title after overthrowing authoritarian regimes or formally breaking
away from secularism. By comparison, The Islamic State, or ISIS,
is not a republic but a “caliphate”, meaning that there is a single, unelected leader.
Other Islamic countries, like Saudi Arabia, operate under a monarchy, and are similarly
unelected. After The Gambia, there are only four other
Islamic Republics: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Mauritania. In all of these countries,
the overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim, and most government representatives
are elected. The term “Islamic Republic” dates back
to the 1950’s with Pakistan being the first to adopt the title. Iran followed during the
Iranian Revolution in 1979, after the secular and autocratic Shah was ousted. A new, more
democratic constitution was instituted by the country’s religious leader. In their
new constitution, Iran established that God, or Allah, would have “exclusive sovereignty
and [the] right to legislate” while also stating that “the task of appointing the
Leader shall be vested with the people” Afghanistan followed a similar path in 2001,
after US troops toppled the country’s extremist leaders, the Taliban. Since then, Afghanistan
has been able to maintain most of its democratic structures, like presidential elections and
a three-branch government. But Afghan law still presupposes that all Afghans are Muslims
In The Gambia’s case, the decision to become an Islamic Republic does not stem from a political
revolution or a new constitution. Rather, The Gambia is using the title as a way to
formalize its Muslim identity and distance the country from its history as a British
Colony. The Gambia’s president says that the change will not introduce a dress code
or prevent non-muslims from adhering to their faith. However the president was later criticized
for passing a law requiring all female government employees to wear headscarves.
In short, an Islamic Republic is basically a legislative rebranding. It can be made for
political reasons, as in Afghanistan’s case; or for cultural identity, like in The Gambia.
It does not necessarily mean that the government is working with extremist groups like ISIS
or that they are directly enforcing sharia law on their citizens. The only thing that
unites the world’s Islamic Republics is that Democracy and Islam are working together.
  A number of Islamic countries and groups base
their legal system on the controversial “sharia law”. But what exactly is Sharia law? Find
out in our video. thanks for watching! Make sure to subscribe to TestTube News for more
videos everyday.

Jean Kelley



  1. Kenshin1998 Himura Posted on November 28, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    so if a western country would call themselves a Christian state their racist

  2. stri ker Posted on November 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Maldives is an Islamic Republic too do your reseach

  3. Blader Inc Posted on November 29, 2016 at 11:29 am

    U look hypnotised

  4. xXxSkyViperxXx Posted on December 5, 2016 at 5:05 am

    wait who the fuck thought that state meant isis lol. silly muricans

  5. Interfector56 Posted on December 9, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    You literally contradict yourself in the same video. First you say that an Islamic republic is an elected democratic government based on Sharia law, then you say that Islamic republics have nothing to do with Sharia law.

  6. Eartha Kitt Posted on December 10, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    "Elected, democratic republic" FOH with that bullshit

  7. Redhusky Gaming Posted on December 11, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Lol this is SHIT I went to iran and I saw jews,christains,muslims and sort of religions they had a Church Wake up media is not showing that

  8. M R Posted on December 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Fuck you kuffar in the comments, talk shit all you like, you're the same niggas who watch hentai and shit.

  9. Scartoxic 101 Posted on December 13, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    let take a second if 9/11 and fox news didn't exist everyone will be happy for ever

  10. TazKidNoah Posted on December 17, 2016 at 12:49 am

    0:58 to 1:07
    Thats NOT a Caliph!!!!!!! Look to ‎Rashidun Caliphate to Ottoman Caliphate if u want to know what a REAL Caliphate looks LIKE!!!!!

    The Enemy in Levant is Called Daesh(to DENOUNCE their claim of Caliphate); UNTIL Western Societies UNDERSTAND that Western Intersts PRESERVE those MONSTERS into POWER!!!!! Muslim World can't find PEACE throughout WESTERN INTERESTS!!!!!

  11. Mehreen Bukhari Posted on December 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Proud to be a citizen of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 😉

  12. Aidan Cusack Posted on December 23, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Islam is a cancer: it spreads destruction and oppression wherever it goes, whether that be on a state or city level.

  13. Admiral Ackbar Posted on December 26, 2016 at 4:37 am

    For all the people going nuts in the comments, we all have to agree that Islamic republics where people can at least solve problems somewhat democratically is better than senseless fighting and turmoil. Ideally, secular democracies are the best but I'd rather we live in a world of republics where we can argue for secularism rather than wars where we have to fight for it.

  14. アニメカワイ Posted on December 28, 2016 at 3:09 am

    The prophet Mohamed (S.A.W) lived in peace with christians and Jews in medina, why is are extremists Not acknowledging this since they 'claim' to follow his path,

  15. Kurdistan Mahabad Posted on January 3, 2017 at 5:41 am

    there is no any difference between (isis) and Iran, Pakistan

  16. Salman Khan Posted on January 3, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Pakistan doesn't have democracy. Pakistan is not run by their civilian government. Pakistan military and ISI controls Pakistan.

  17. Achilles Zalman Posted on January 24, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia are muslim majority countries and they call themselves SECULAR MUSLIM nations.
    SECULAR MUSLIM REPUBLIC is better than Islamic republic any day.

    The difference, the constitution in secular islamic nations arent totally based off of Islamic traditional Sharia … this helps protects ethnic minorities..also keeps terrorism and extremism away. Islamic republics often deals with terrorism because under Islamic republic rule, the ethnic differences cannot be solved with pro-slam constitutions. You have to provide religious and cultural freedom which Pakistan for e.g cant provide to their people , hence they suffer

  18. Daskalos Papas Posted on January 29, 2017 at 9:18 am

    the khalif is elected!

  19. Umesh Posted on January 30, 2017 at 7:59 am

    why the word islamic is used

  20. Larry Litmanen Posted on February 3, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Did she say with a straight face that people in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are elected?

  21. sher khan Posted on February 6, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    so pakistan is the firstt country to be called as''''Islamic republic'''…proud to be a pakistani

  22. DasZuckerhaus Posted on February 6, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    democratically elected government in islamic republic's xD i'm sure the Iranian Green Movement, Pakistani protesters and jailed Turkish intelligentsia are glad to find out they were in democracies xD
    jeez they really need to hire someone else to do research for this channel

  23. RATNESH VERMA Posted on February 11, 2017 at 5:13 am

    fuck allah fuck mohammad.

  24. manjeet singh Posted on February 19, 2017 at 4:22 am

    no diffetence.both are fucking crap

  25. Corpse Awareness Posted on February 19, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    it's time to give this old obsolete banal platitude beliefs set of system a real hard Shake

  26. jeremiah fogel Posted on February 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    thats some terrorist propaganda

  27. Meta Knight Posted on February 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    a Islamic Republic is full of Wahhabists and The islamic state is full of salafis

  28. Max Warren Posted on February 27, 2017 at 8:53 am

    "The Geeembya"… Why is it hard for this channel to pronounce shit correctly?

  29. Jacques Y Posted on March 3, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    The real reasons countries call themselves Islamic Republics is simple: it's fucking hilarious to watch imperialist westerners piss themselves in fear at the mere thought of brown people choosing their own fate.

  30. Ciaron Smith Posted on March 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Stupidest video. Seriously. As if people don't know the difference.

  31. muzaffar rojava Posted on March 19, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    everytime i see the coment section…
    oh the daily cancer

  32. C R Posted on March 25, 2017 at 12:09 am

    "Democracy and Islam are working together"

    No religion can work together with a democracy.
    Democracy is freedom, religion no.

  33. ๖ZEUS๛ Posted on March 26, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Basically anything Islamic is shit.

  34. Ahmed Nashif Posted on March 27, 2017 at 8:26 am

    France force ban hijab, but Gambia can't force wear scarf…… hypocrisy much?

  35. Arnab Saha Posted on April 10, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Everyone should stay in their region. I am gonna live in South Asia for my whole life and a Muslim should too live in the Middle East.

  36. MadTurkLad Posted on April 23, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Why is the Thailand flag on the thumbnail ?

  37. Matt matt Posted on April 24, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Allah claim to be the greatest but god never made such claims thus Islam is evil deception for humanity to end itself by her facilitation. devil always wanted to be greater then god that is all he thinks about to be great.

  38. Brandon Diaz Posted on May 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    With all due respect, Muslims in this day and age are absolutely nuts. Sunni and Shia hate each other. I don't trust either or. Muslims also have that no good pal Isis running around. They are all Muslim. And those Muslims are just crazy. They don't fight in the name of 'allah' they are monsters from the deepest holes in hell. All they do is hate and kill those that oppose them. You Muslims better get your shit together with that. It's ruining your reputation as a group. (I did not say on bad thing about Muslims. I just said you are crazy. That's not being racist. It's a fact, facts are truths. But I did say things about Isis. Those people are just evil.)

  39. N B Posted on May 16, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Elected and democratic….primarily based on sharia law
    choose only 1

  40. gaq_t gaqq Posted on May 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    A caliphate isn't elected? He is chosen by a shura council.
    Also, there are too many keyboard shiyuukh in the comments.

  41. gaq_t gaqq Posted on May 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    this entire channel is cancer tbh

  42. StarGunnerNinja Gaming Posted on May 23, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Why does Nowthis Keep changing their name
    1.Seeker (What i think)
    2.TestTube (I also think so)
    now 3.NowThis
    I am wondering why they keep changing their name.

  43. Tђєรw๏яdσfÐια๓๏ภd Posted on May 24, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    A repubic is peacful
    A state is evil

  44. Umid Azimi Posted on May 25, 2017 at 7:29 am

    The Rashidun Caliphate was a democracy………………. so ya

  45. v for Vendetta Posted on May 25, 2017 at 8:55 am

    islamic law are more secular than secular law itself

  46. Moe T Posted on June 7, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    how about palestine

  47. Harry Johnson Posted on June 10, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    If there was a Protestant republic people would call it racist

  48. Anan ali Posted on June 20, 2017 at 11:28 am

    isn't Maldives also an Islamic Republic

  49. Niggita Coleslaw Posted on June 24, 2017 at 12:13 am

    More than half of the western world relates to the fraze "I would be killed under Sharia law"… and still Europe lets muslims in.

  50. Mystery Man Posted on July 4, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Actually a caliph is elected.
    The rightly-guided caliphs were all elected in Shura.
    And by the Shariat a caliph should always be elected (something that was negated by the Emevis,Abassids and Ottomans).
    The only difference is that only knowledgable can vote (scholars, commanders, scientists, philosphers….).

  51. FunMax vines Posted on July 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    strong belief in any thing create problem

  52. Salih Hudayar Posted on July 22, 2017 at 4:15 am


  53. Ice Posted on July 30, 2017 at 12:12 am

    I grabbed my popcorn and got ready for the comment section.

  54. Ritam 34hndx78we Posted on August 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Islam is the opposite word of republic

  55. Sudaif Mangrio Posted on August 11, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    In Arabic It's Called "Allah (SWT) , Christian's say GoD , what's the difference, the Language . So Why Hate???? Islamophobia ?? Brainwashed by western Media????

  56. neha shakil Posted on August 14, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I wish all the Muslim country will follow sharia law then all those Muslim countries will be peaceful. I wish my country pakistan will also follow sharia law. And our government impose it again.

  57. S C Posted on August 16, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Make India Hindu republic and just wait and watch all butthurt Muslims of India and pakistanis !!

  58. Elijah Pisani Posted on August 24, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    the gambia is not an islamic republic anymore its secular yet again due to the new president

  59. Bruh Bruh Posted on September 30, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Sorry but Isis are no caliphate the caliphates are extremely old it’s like trying to bring chief back in the modern world

  60. alejandro alex9990 Posted on October 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    For me theres no difference, just ignorant people embracing the stupid barbaric laws of an outdated book

  61. alejandro alex9990 Posted on October 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Muslims are really disgusting intolerant people

  62. rayyan radoncic Posted on October 11, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    There’s Sunni and Shia! Sunni is real!!!

  63. Voices From The Melting Pot Posted on October 27, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Pakistan famously supports terrorists, they have or are systematically wiping out their Hindu, Sikh, Shia, Christian and other minorities…minorities are constitutionally bared from holding high public offices in Pakistan…ordinary citizens are made to sign a declaration that ahmadiyya muslims are not muslims on their applications to obtain a passport…so Islamic State = Islamic Republic…Lady, your channel is a Islamic apologist…what would you say to all these oppressed people suffering at the hands of Islam…

  64. Omar Moustafa bin Ail Posted on November 18, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Caliphate is also done by election this is why they call it the 1st caliph and 2nd and 3rd so on. Learn your history 🤤

  65. Very mad Villager Posted on December 20, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Where’s Sweden!

  66. Lxpard Posted on January 6, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Muslims not terrörist

  67. jason leftridge Posted on February 2, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Fun fact: the monarchy of the United Kingdom also claims that it's power is derived and granted by God. Not that unusual.

  68. The KINGDOM Of SHINDIG Posted on February 7, 2018 at 4:50 am


  69. Alan Sarkis Posted on February 7, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Majority of persians hate islam

  70. M Meidiano Al Fajri Posted on March 9, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Indonesia and Malaysia are Islamic Countries and they're bautiful!! They're colorful!

  71. Down side Up Posted on March 10, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    It's pronounced paa ki staan

  72. Iyan Posted on March 12, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Islam and democracy are very CONTRADICTIVE 2 things to compare and work together.Islam does not promote democracy.

  73. Lukas Schneider Posted on March 30, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Secular Nations are better than Religious.

  74. Jose Hernandez Posted on May 22, 2018 at 3:37 am

    You're stunning looking.

  75. Nihal s Posted on May 28, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Taliban and Al Qaeda was made by USA to fight Soviet …which was a cheap move by USA
    So destroying the country and rebuilding the country with government in favor of USA is not a favor to the country
    Afghanistan still today is broken because of USA

  76. Asim Nisar Posted on June 4, 2018 at 3:56 am

    i love islam all islamic state alll the muslims i am ready to sacrifice my life for Islam

  77. Ceo Aman Posted on June 29, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    I just want to specify that the ISIS is not a true caliphate, and the first caliphates were elected

  78. Jonny Hughes Posted on August 13, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Seems to me that islam , what ever version of it, = poverty and e onomic turmoil for its people

  79. Conor Kieran Posted on September 3, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Poo> Political Islam

  80. Johnathan Cao Posted on September 22, 2018 at 3:03 am

    Democracy, Freedom and Islam shall never be able to exist together.

  81. mubbashar minhas Posted on October 10, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Iran is not a Muslim country
    …it is working on jewish agenda and shattering the teachings of islam

  82. Donald Trump Posted on October 19, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Bangladesh forget best example democracy

  83. Sheeroz Shahid Posted on October 28, 2018 at 7:32 am

    This time is to get together… love to all Muslims around the world from their fellow Muslim country Pakistan!

  84. Fairy ???? Posted on November 9, 2018 at 9:00 pm


  85. Iskender Simsek Posted on November 29, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    ISIS is not a caliphate.

  86. syed ali Posted on December 28, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Democracy nowadays is simply Hiring a great salesman and make him through media, the leader of your nation.
    Who is Hiring ?
    Rich and Foreign agencies.
    Why ? Profit and control over trade.

  87. Emanuel Martinez Posted on December 29, 2018 at 12:42 am

    The Islamic Republic of The Gambia was changed back to the Republic of The Gambia in 2017 when Adama Barrrow became president in 2017.

  88. Culture Defenders Posted on February 9, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Anything that has Islam in it is bad!

  89. FAZE Tub Posted on February 17, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Paksian is the older muslim country in the world and the powerful and the. Biggest population at 945 million people and 50000 christians 7880 vegans

  90. FAZE Tub Posted on February 17, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Paksian is 457 year olders

  91. FAZE Tub Posted on February 17, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Paksian have 99 population Arabic and. English and Pakistani language

  92. FAZE Tub Posted on February 17, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    1% only Arabic and Pakistani language

  93. FAZE Tub Posted on February 17, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Paksian got tv in 1899 JULY by usc

  94. Emir EC Posted on March 9, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    A republic is NOT a democracy. A democracy is the majority rule, whilst a republic is the rule of the constitution regardless of majority support or not

  95. Darth Malik Posted on March 26, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Greetings Islamophobe.Islamic republics existed way before your dad broke his condom.

  96. Gamination Posted on April 17, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Islamic System is the only solution of mankind problem.

  97. PowWowChicken Posted on April 30, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    All of these forms of government are authoritarian and run by dictators…there is no freedom. The worse thing is having your government get involved in every single thing of your life, might as well be a slave to the state.

  98. Prajjwal Kumar Posted on May 21, 2019 at 7:25 am

    It's same

  99. Farooq Khan Darawal Posted on July 22, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    I love you so much my country afghanistan