This Ted talk by Qasim Rashid provides a sterling defense of freedom of conscience and separation of church and state from a Muslim perspective.
It’s a sobering message—that most of the world’s people live under regimes of religious persecution. Here are some excerpts:
“What we are seeing on a worldwide scale especially in last 5-6 years is that the countries that have become hostile to religious minorities have increased, and now represent nearly 75% of the world’s population.
"And now for the scary part: those countries where it is getting worst are countries where if they collapse, have the real possibility of creating worldwide conflict. Four of these nine countries are nuclear-armed countries: Pakistan, India, Russia, and Israel. And all 4 of these countries are in the top 9 of the most religiously-oppressive in the world. Three of them don’t have functioning governments: Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan.
“…. The common reality of all these countries is an oppression of conscience. And if you are wondering why China isn’t on this list, China is not only #2 on government restrictions index, only behind North Korea,… but remember, the current Chinese regime exists on the blood of 50-60 million Chinese citizens…so it was by no means a peaceful creation. This is not a religious issue. China’s violence and persecution comes from anti-religion, from an arguably atheistic concept.”
Rashid ends with a new narrative for separation of church and state.