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Islamism is objectionable in Islamic countries as well

Reader comment on item: Spreading Islam in American Public Schools
in response to reader comment: re prayer time in public schools

Submitted by Ted (United States), Aug 12, 2010 at 01:41

Dear Dr Pipes:

A lot of people who live in the free world (like many of your readers above) rhetorically state that those who want to practice Islamic fundamentalism should leave us alone and go back to their own countries.

Such statements tacitly imply that fundamentalism is acceptable in fundamentalist countries. In actuality while a country cannot escape from its culture, it can easily escape from its religion. And it should. In principle, religion-based states are unacceptable any where in the world (even in Islamic countries).

Consider a country where every single person belongs to the same religion. Even in this extreme case the constitution of that country should be distinct from that religion so no citizen is forced to continue to subscribe to a certain set of non-essential beliefs due to the force of the state. The whole idea behind secular laws in a country is to establish essential secular ethics independent of religions so the citizens do not feel discriminated just because they do not belong to the right religion. It is a fundamental right of a human that the land where he was born accepts him.

The only exception to this rule is very small religious enclaves which are tied to specific religions due to historic reasons (such as Mecca, Jerusalem, Vetican, Banaras etc). So Islamic Saudi Arabia or Pakistan should be as acceptable to us as Christian United States or Canada would be to Muslims in America or Canada.


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