Muslim Scholar: No Separation of Church and State in Islam

A prominent American Muslim scholar has argued that differences between Islam and other faiths run deeper than most suspect, and extend even to the question of separation of church and state.

Writing in Friday’s LA Times, Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World, states that Western suppositions that all religions are basically the same and want the same things is fundamentally wrong.

These differences, Hamid contends, run all the way from views of the sacred text (Muslims believe that every single word of the Qur’an comes directly from Allah) to an understanding of the nature of the state and its relationship to religion.