The Advantage to Islam of Mosque-State Separation: What the American Founders Can Teach
Stanford Law School; Gryphon Partners
Policy Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, Spring 2008
Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World Paper No. 08-19
Mosque-state separation and religious freedom appear to have stalled in the Middle East. Recent public opinion surveys, however, indicate that in a number of key Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq and Algeria, a majority of people favor mosque-state separation. The question, then, is how to help this majority advance its interests vis-a-vis vocal extremists. This article presents an example of a different group of advocates for separation of religion and politics - the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. It argues that their approach serves as a valuable template and shows how the arguments they used to persuade their deeply religious fellow citizens to favor separation of religion and politics can be applied in the Middle East today.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, religious freedom, Founding Fathers
Date posted: April 4, 2008