The imam who leads a prayer or recites a sermon in the mosque does not have power to make final judgment in relation to a social issue. If he is intellectually and scholarly competent enough, the Imam may interpret the established norms and offer his own views on the matter. Regardless of who share it, no view or interpretation is the final and eternal truth and fact of the religion; for this reason, they are open to criticism and discussion.
For historical reasons, the church held some privileges vis-à-vis the political administration. Under the Christian theology, God has given two swords to the pope for use in defense of Christianity. The pope holds one of them whereas he hands the other to the king. It should be stressed that it is the pope who has handed the sword to the king or the emperor. The pope also holds control over the spirits; the spirit has ontological superiority compared to the body. The pope represents the divine rule of God. The king, as the servant of God, is the ruler on earth. However, the kingdom of the world has to be subordinate to divine rule. In this case, the church, compared to the state, holds a superior and dominant position. This is exactly where what we call theocracy emerges and reigns.
From a historical viewpoint, we could see that a mosque is a civilian place of worship. Its relation with the official society up to the Umayyads era was defined by a general pattern under which the local Imam forwarded the civilian social issues to the grand Imam who further referred them to the governor of the city. In general, the Imam was not appointed by the state (a tradition that was kept alive in Ottoman times as well); the most competent and elderly person was picked from the congregation as Imam in every prayer. This means that the Imam could actually change every time a prayer took place in certain mosques. This shows that the mosque which has not become a political institution had no assertion or position vis-à-vis the state in history. The staff members taking care of errands associated with the mosque were not an organized class of religious clerics.
Today, mosques are official institutions subordinate to the state in the entire Muslim world; in other words, they could be considered state mosques. Every mosque has its own imam, and depending on its size, an additional group of people that take care of the running of the mosque. These people receive payments from the state, and the imam has to recite a sermon every week forwarded by the central administration.
This comparison I made between mosque and church is not limited to the historical experiences or diverse theologies of the two religions; but this comparison also gives insights on their dominant positions vis-à-vis the state, politics, administration and power relations. Many times, when a relationship between Islam and theocracy is established, the major distinction between the two religions is not taken into consideration; for this reason, it is mistakenly thought that Islam would lead to a theocracy similar to the one based in Catholic Christianity. However, setting aside Islam, it is even controversial to refer to a connection between theocracy and the Protestant faith or Orthodox Christianity.
The overall meaning of the statement in the Bible, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's," is the history of Christianity. What matters in Islam is the election of the administrator who is absolutely bound by the divine rules of Allah by the people. From this perspective, if Islam would develop a democracy model, the brief definition of it could be this: a regime based on the will of Allah and the consent of the people.