(…between militant radical Islam and pluralist secular societies)

There has always been a commonality with all the major religions of this world for exclusiveness, a common factor leading to bigotry, and intolerance against any other faith but their own.

Alexander Hamilton reportedly expressed it best during our founders’ debates over our proposed Constitution’s provisions to ensure an absolute separation between church and state…to prevent that. Supposedly he said:” More abominable inhumanities and crimes have been made in the name of God, than for any other cause in human history.”… or words to that effect.

Both he and the founders of our republic understood that only too well, not being too far removed from the sectarian conflicts that had plagued their early colonial times, as well as the previous terrible religious wars back in their home countries of Europe. Thus, religious liberty was one of the prime motivations for immigration or removal to the New World…the Puritans in Massachusetts…Quakers in Pennsylvania…Catholics in Maryland …Hugenots in Delaware and New Jersey…and so on. So when it came time to create a new nation from all those disparate pieces that’s why they designed and structured our Constitution they way they did.

Even so, bigotry and intolerance for others of different faiths still reared its ugly head here now and then…against Catholics… Jews… Quakers…Baptists…Mormons…etc. Despite all efforts against it, the evil of sectarianism has constantly lurked in the shadows just waiting for any opportunity to pounce into the open; so, eternal vigilance against it has always been what we’ve had to pay to sustain and enjoy those liberties we have today.

Other Western societies have also managed to curb most extreme religious radicalism (some better than others) and evolve into relatively pluralistic and secular societies. Not so, alas, with Islam, and that is the crux of the problem most of the rest of the world faces with it today. To be blunt, its militant radical forms are fundamentally incompatible with the ideals of pluralist and secular societies, not because these are unwilling to include Islam within their own matrixes, but because the mindsets of those radical elements are inimical to the concepts of free and open societies of the host countries to which they have come, refusing to assimilate into the norms of those host societies, where religious faith and practice are private individual concerns, not to dominate or forcibly eliminate all others instead.

As long as radical Islam persists in holding such views then, perhaps, the ISIS/ISSL attempt to re-create a so-called “caliphate” in the region is not just a futile exercise of murderous insanity. If it were able to establish such a “caliphate” that might resolve the problems the rest of the world has with its supporters and sympathizers who reside among it. Simply put, all those who accept its extreme precepts could then be encouraged to remove themselves to it…and there remain permanently sequestered from the rest of those world communities they so despise. As the lyrics of an old Blues song put it…if you don’t like my peaches…why do you shake my tree…

Meanwhile, the world might have fewer conflicts to deal with.