John Hick, An Interpretation of Religion (Yale UP, 1989, pp. 48-49):
From the point of view of the understanding of this state of islam [submission to Allah] the Muslim sees no distinction between the religious and the secular. The whole of life is to be lived in the presence of Allah and is the sphere of God's absolute claim and limitless compassion and mercy. And so islam, God-centredness, is not only an inner submission to the sole Lord of the universe but also a pattern of corporate life in accordance with God's will. It involves both salat, worship, and falah, the good embodied in behaviour. Through the five appointed moments of prayer each day is linked to God. Indeed almost any activity may be begun with Bismillah ('in the name of Allah'); and plans and hopes for the future are qualified by Inshallah ('if Allah wills'). Thus life is constantly punctuated by the remembrance of God. It is a symptom of this that almsgiving ranks with prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and confession of faith as one of the five 'pillars' of Islam. Within this holistic conception the 'secular' spheres of politics, government, law, commerce, science and the arts all come within the scope of religious obedience.
What Hick calls a "holistic conception," I would call totalitarian. Islam is totalitarian in a two-fold sense. It aims to regulate every aspect and every moment of the individual believer's life. (And if you are not a believer, you must either convert or accept dhimmitude.) But it is also totalitarian in a corporate sense in that it aims to control every aspect of society in all its spheres, just as Hick points out supra.
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. I regularly criticize the shysters of the ACLU for their extremist positions on this question; but I agree with them that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . ."
This raises a very serious question. 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 in a particular state, say Michigan?
Note also that Islam is not a religion like Buddhism or Christianity. It is as much a political ideology as a religion. In this regard it is very similar to the totalitarian political ideology, Communism. Buddha and Jesus were not warriors; Muhammad was.
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?
These are important questions and they need to be asked. But so-called 'liberals' will scream in protest at my mere mention of them. So what happened to the spirit of free and open inquiry? I am inspired to a parody:
Where have all the liberals gone,long time passing?
Where have all the liberals gone, long time ago?
Where have all the liberals gone?
Gone to Pee Cee every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they e-v-e-r learn?