Such methods can sometimes be effective, especially in the short term. But maintaining a religious regime through fear and threat of violence is obviously incompatible with human dignity. And, given the magnitude of the secular threat, it seems likely that the tactics required to force citizens into compliance with Islamic law will over time become even more horrifying. These trends are arguably already emerging, as depraved organizations like al-Qaeda are eclipsed by even-more-barbaric organizations like ISIS.
Certainly, Christians should be intensely concerned about the extent to which their own children are informed by traditional beliefs, especially those to do with sexual mores. We should be eager to continue the work (already well underway in Catholic social teaching and related movements) to articulate cogent, ethical responses to the moral and spiritual problems of contemporary culture. And again, we might at times find it appropriate and expedient to join with Muslim neighbors and friends in pursuit of specific social or political objectives. As American Catholics, we should respect the integrity and religious freedom of all our fellow citizens, including Muslims.
We should not, however, expect the Islamic world to take the lead in answering the threat of secularism. For that, we must dig deeper into the manifold resources of our own tradition, hoping to recover a virtue-rich culture that celebrates human dignity and freedom, promoting the thriving not only of Christians, but of all human beings.
Rachel Lu teaches philosophy at the University of St. Thomas and writes for Crisis Magazine and The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @rclu.