Live Moral Questions
My friend Bill Vallicella - the Maverick Philosopher - asks some very live moral questions about Islam in his recent blog post "There is No Provision in Islam for Mosque-State Separation":
Islam is totalitarian in a two-fold sense. It aims to regulate every aspect and every moment of the individual believer's life . . . . But it is also totalitarian in a corporate sense in that it aims to control every aspect of society in all its spheres . . . . Islam, therefore, is profoundly at odds with the values of the West. For we in the West, whether liberals or conservatives, accept church (mosque)-state separation. We no doubt argue heatedly over what exactly it entails, but we are agreed on the main principle . . . . that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . ." [But is] Islam - pure, unEnlightened, undiluted, fundamentalist, theocratic Islam - deserving of First Amendment protection? We read in the First Amendment that Congress shall not prohibit the free exercise of religion. Should that be understood to mean that the Federal government shall not prohibit the establishment and free exercise of a totalitarian, fundamentalist theocratic religion . . . ? Note also that Islam is not a religion like Buddhism or Christianity. It is as much a political ideology as a religion . . . . The USA is a nation with a secular government. Suppose there was a religion whose aim was to subvert our secular government. Does commitment to freedom of religion enjoin toleration of such a religion? As a religion, Islam is the worst of the great religions; as a political ideology, however, it is a formidable enemy. If it prevails, we and our values lose. Are we under some sort of obligation to tolerate that which would destroy us and our way of life? Or does toleration have limits?The growth of Islam in the West thus resurrects moral questions about religious toleration, the secular state, free speech, and more.