Secularism vs Islamism

"As a third-party observer of the Muslim world, it seems to me that things like the AKP are exactly what we should be hoping to see -- political mobilizations based around the appeal of Islam that nonetheless abide by democratic norms and don't see Islamist politics as entailing violent confrontations with the West. If America takes the attitude that only rigid, Attaturk-style secularism is an acceptable form of political organization, then this is precisely the sort of thing that drives the view that the United States is engaging in the global persecution of Muslims and Islam," - Matt Yglesias, as of today my fellow blogger for the Atlantic.

He's right, I think. I'm sympathetic to the secularists in Turkey. They worry about Islamists as I worry about Christianists in a putatively secular country. The secular Turks, even the Muslim ones, have more reason to worry, given the extremes Islam is now pushing throughout the world and region. But finding a way to allow religious expression in the public square more flexibly than Attaturk is not a capitulation to fundamentalism. It may be the best way to head it off.