What is your response to this article about freedom of conscience, government, and Islam?
My response is that I agree with the author but that I think it will be hard for him to get a lot of agreement in much of the Muslim world in the short term. I would argue that economic development has to come first and only then will people be ready to embrace the liberalism of the sort that he advocates.
This is not really about Islam. Instead, it is about a society coming to have the tolerant values needed for liberal democracy. It took a long time for countries in the West to get to have these values and we still (particularly here in the US) fight about them on the margins (gay marriage, teaching evolution). These values are more easily embraced by an educated and well-off middle class, something that is not always present in great numbers in many Muslim countries today.