My article on â€œAmerican and Muslim Perspectives on Freedom of Religionâ€ has been published in the May 2006 issue of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.
From the introduction:
My aim is to compare the legal and cultural perspectives on the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses from American and Muslim vantage points.
From the conclusion:
In the classical era of Islamic civilization, a â€œcompletely free and unorganized republic of scholarsâ€ outside of government defined the religious law. What is remarkable about Islamic history is not that Islamic civilization declined, but that it lasted for so many centuries before it declined. Islamic civilizationâ€™s success is in large part attributable to the existence of a rule of law that was sufficiently fixed to provide for rational calculation, yet sufficiently flexible to adapt to changing circumstances, with the balance of these factors determined outside the domain of the rulers, who had the greatest incentive and power to distort the balance to serve their own interests. A renaissance of Islam in the modern era will require that it develop independent of the government. That would be best assured by an adoption of the disestablishment principle by Muslims.
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