Secular State, Citizenship and the Matrix of Globalized Religious Identity Tahmina Rashid* No man has a right … to treat any other man “tolerantly”, for tolerance is the assumption of superiority1.Evolution of Secularism and Secular State There seems to be a general consensus that Islamic/Muslim values are incompatible with secular/western values. Before delving into further details, this paper would revisit the developments and characteristics associated with secularism and secular state. The concept of secular state emanated from the idea of secularism and secularisation of society and state, following the revolutionary developments particularly in Europe and North American. The multiplicity attached to these concepts has given them different meanings and understandings; having negative and positive connotations; exposing the diversity and complexity of these ideas. However, in general, ‘secular’ is understood as the belief that religious influence should be restricted; and that education, morality, and the state (etc.) should be particularly independent of religious influence. Social analysts (Weber, Comte, Marx, Spencer, Durkheim & Lenski) view secularism as a defining character of modern society; diversion from faith based to scientific, knowledge and human self-regulation (Dallmayr: 1999, 715), a shift from religion to the glorification of the nation (Gottfried: 1999). Early proponents envisioned separation of state and church, (Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, & Rousseau) yet refrained from total rejection of faith in the divine, recognising Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 6, No.1&2, Spring & Summer 2007156
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