How will Muslim societies and states deal with secularism?
Secularism as an ideology, whether it is the laicized version in France or the firm restrictions on Islam in politics in Turkey, or whether it’s even the kind you find in America, is not a model or attitude that is comfortable to many Muslims. That is because it is seen, rightly so in some instances, not as being neutral on religion, but rather as actually hostile to it. In some parts of the Muslim world, secularism is often seen as an attack on religion and religious people. For example, the Communists in Afghanistan and Ba’athists in Iraq violently repressed religious leaders. Because of this disparity in experience and understanding, I find it is rarely helpful to dwell on secularism when we are discussing liberty and freedom in the Muslim world. I do not think we should put ourselves in the position-as some American liberals do-of arguing that our “classic liberal ideas of tolerance and separation of church and state” are the same things as radical forms of secularism that based