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The Contender
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Islam is not compatible with secularism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 393 times Debate No: 99158
Debate Rounds (3)
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*I write this as a person who happened to be a muslim in the past, and who currently lives in a muslim society. Most of people I hold dear are muslim, therefore I DO NOT MAKE ANY STATEMENT ON ALL MUSLIM INDIVIDUALS.

I make my statement clear, even though I don't have rigid bondages to my argument and I am ready to change my view if faced with good arguments and exemples. For now, Im convinced that in a society composed majoritarily of muslims, secularist ideas and the values of moderns state will not survive. Lets define some terms;

From secularism, I don't only mean the seperation of religion from state, but I also mean the assurance of safe space for expression and practice of all beliefs and non-beliefs, without recieving any physical threat or negative repercussions from state (not including private associations, not our subject), as long as these beliefs do not violate laws based on universal human rights.

From modern state values, I understand a state that respects individuality and universal human rights, inclusion of all individuals to politics, having the same human rights and dignity as individuals etc.

Now what is left to us is to define what a muslim is. You will always hear muslims bragging there are 1.6 billion muslims in the planet. However, if you spend time with muslims, you will also see that most of muslim individuals do not consider a huge number of muslim people as muslims. If you talk with a Tunisian muslim, she will say muslims in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia who ensalve woman in home are not real muslims, they do not understand Quran and they are influenced from externalities. If you talk with a Saudi, he will say the exact same thing about muslims in Tunisia, Turkey, Europe etc.

To approach this question, we will look at two realities; the ideal muslim depiction in Quran (the challenger of this question should be already informed about Quran, otherwise this debate won't go anywhere), and the tendencies of muslims in real world regarding certain questions on human rights, role of woman and the rest of teachings of Quran.

While people in countries like Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan support massifly sharia law, this tendancy goes down just slightly in european countries. When we talk about 1.6 billion people, even 1% of this number makes 160 million people. So imagine 20 to 40% of population who support sharia law and what it means. Lets call these people islamists. For the rest of the muslim population who are not islamists, they have heavly conservative world views about homosexuality, women rights and free expression. They certanly condone terror attacks and have nothing to do with violence, but their life views are not aligned with human rights. If certain europeans think we should respect different cultures and let their conservetive lifestyles go along, we break the values of modern state, which guarantees same treatment and dignity for all human beings, regardless of their skin colour and sex.

Why does it not work with Islam? Doesn't it work with Christianity? Yes and no; yes it works with christianity because just because we call both Islam and christianity "religion" doesn't mean they are different meals served in one plate. And no it doesn't work because the very idea of enlightinement begun with criticising christianity of the era. Humanists were doomed to be heretics. Even today, at least in Europe, majority of populations in countries like Czech Republic, France, Germany, Belgium are either do not believe or do not follow the christianity. Having said that, let me start by stating the differences between Islam and christianity, and then to proceed on why it works within christian societes.

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" This pharese of Jesus, taken from Matthew, states the seperation between temporal life and spiritual life. There is temporal world with secular princes, then there is the Kingdom of God. There is church and there is state. They might interfere but they are not the same. The very existence of church as an institution is due to this seperation. Christianity made the boundries clear, thats why you can talk about seperation of church and state. There is no equivalent of this in Islam. If Bible is a story book full of moral lessons, then Quran is a strict manual of manners. It tells you what to do in so many aspects of life; sex life, economics, politics, relations... It is an ideology. It is your compass. And if you choose not to follow your compass, there will be always some people in your society who will remind you of your compass. Because compasses are not opened to commentary; it makes the direction you should go clear. So how will yo seperate church and state, if there is no church? Can you seperate capitalism and state? Socialism and state? Optimism and state? You either believe and practice it, or you don't.

Let me know where you think Im wrong and if its possible for muslims to embrace secularism without conflicting with Islam.


Many thinkers try to introduce Islam as a secular system which doesn"t interfere in social and political affairs. They believe that religion must be completely separate from worldly affairs. In their eyes, the concept of a religious state is backward and outdated.

This doctrine doesn"t address the relationship between religion and politics, but it is a radical approach to the role of religion and revelation in shaping human knowledge. This doctrine believes that the human intellect is capable of forming its own knowledge independent of revelation.

While Islam doesn"t believe in separation between religion and politics and there are many political verses in the Quran. Also, the life of the Prophet (pbuh) as the founder of Islam shows that when he saw the conditions was ready, he established government.

Furthermore, the religion and revelation have important role in shaping human knowledge as it mentioned by Muslim scholars.
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by DrCereal 2 years ago
Wtf are you talking about? Secularism and communism are completely different ideas.
Posted by John_C_1812 2 years ago
The argument though a great one for debate is built on fallacy. Secularism is not a legal separation of Church and State, nor does it describe one.
Secularism - Indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion or religious consideration. (Merriam-Webster)
Secularism can be seen as a just a new word for Communism. The Principle is claimed to exist, without proper explanation in verbal or writing direction.
The Separation of church and State is a process which occurs during presentation of limited opposing idea. Between well-regulated groups of people who are selected as witness, and are not just joining together by principle of belief that cannot support this process.
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