Secularism, a term applied specially to the system of social ethics associated with the name of g. Holyoake.  secularism is based solely on considerations of practical morality with a view to the physical, social and moral improvement of society.
It neither affirms nor denies the theistic premises of religion, and is thus a particular variety of utilitarianism . Ibn rushd’s rationalism (averroism) is the forefather of secularism 
It started as an anti-clericalism and individual right to religious expression. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly had taken Church properties and issued the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which made the Church a department of the State, removing it from the authority of the Pope.
- Laicism became, instead of promoting freedom of thought and freedom of religion, a movement that prevents the believer from observing his or her religion.
- A more restrictive interpretation of the term has developed since the beginning of 20th century.
- Kemal Ataturk passed the “Hats and Apparel Law” in 28 November 1925, banning any form of clothing that represents any religious identity. 
- French Government, backed by president Chirac banned all religious symbols (kippa, hijab, cross) 2004 
Secularism/Laicism in Islam
There is no laicism in Islam as laicism is born as a reaction to clergy, Islam doesn’t have clergy.
Every Muslim is equal with regards to connection to God and Religion.
Muslim don’t need a cleric to pray (dua, ibadet) (Christians need priests for confession and religious ceremonies), whoever is most suitable becomes an Imam in forming a jamaah.
However you cannot separate religion, state and people, they are interlinked however state cannot control religion, religious institutions don’t try to overrule state either. Obedience to Ulul-amr. 
State is for the people and State is the protector of the religion and the provider of freedom of faith.
Secularist practices and principles are already in Islamic history
No-one can be forced to accept religion
Other religions can coexist with Islam in an Islamic state:
Ottoman “millet” system
Millet system, refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to “personal law” under which communities (Muslim Sharia, Christian Canon law and Jewish Halakha law abiding) were allowed to rule themselves under their own system. The Millet system of Islamic law has been called an early example of pre-modern religious pluralism 
The state religion was Islam: Ottoman King (with title khalif after 1517) had to abide by Shariah and had a parliament consisting of Religious Scholars (ulama, sheikh-ul islam) and the state had to take every action by Shariah.
Medina Charter (Mesaq-e-Medina) consist of the agreements between Prophet Muhammad, Muslims, non-muslims and the Jews of Medina declaring them to be one ‘Ummah’.
There is a specific mention of complete equality for the Jews and Pagans of Medina who formed equal part of the Ummah as per the preamble of the document. There was no special tax or Jizya levied on them. The city-state of Medina was a federation of all the tribes residing in the Yathrib Area. Member of each tribe was to have complete rights as an equal citizen as well as obligations. Another astounding feature of this document is the nature of authority that the Prophet had over this newly formed Medinan community of Muslims, Jews and Pagans. He was recognized as the political leader and not a spiritual one. Allegiance of the non-Muslims was nothing more than political. 
Prominent philosophers supporting Secularism
Iqbal believes that the ultimate basis of all life, according to Islam is spiritual and this eternal principle reveals itself in variety and change. He states: “A society based on such conception of reality must reconcile in its life, the categories of permanence and change”. Evidently the category of permanence is observance of religious obligations whereas the category of change is the Quranic laws respecting worldly affairs. This distinction is accepted by Iqbal who is of the view that the Shariah laws pertaining to Muaamlaat are subject to the law of change through the process of Ijtehad.
Secularism should be interpreted as individuals freedom of faith – In Islam, you cannot enforce faith; Islam values iradeh and ihtiyar and forbids ikrah. Amal or ibadeh made by ikrah (force) is not accepted. 
Prof. Nasr Abu Azyd
There is a certain problem in the Moslem world. People think secularism is against Islam. Secularism is seen to be a medicine for a Western disease, namely the conflict there was between church and science. We don’t need this medicine. But this is not the case. We need the same medicine. We can be open to certain concepts of modernity, the concept of enlightenment according to the white man’s civilisation and reason, but that does not mean we have to become western…there need be no contradiction between modern values such as democracy, human rights, equality between men and women, and the Islam. The problem is that these values were propagated by foreign powers and often enforced on the Moslem countries from the beginning of the 19th century on. That is why Moslems feel entrapped…
Prominent philosophers againist Secularism
.. as Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (`ibadah) and legislation (Shari`ah), the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Shari`ah, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions; It is indeed a false claim that Shariah is not proper to the requirements of the present age. The acceptance of a legislation formulated by humans means a preference of the humans’ limited knowledge and experiences to the divine guidance: “Say! Do you know better than Allah?” (2:140)…
“..abolishment of Khalifdom, Ataturk’s secularism was intended to establish jahilliyah..” 
Dr. Jaafar Sheikh Idris
“..whether the non-Muslims in a state are few or many, secularism is not the answer. The non-Muslims in Muslim states will either be secularists themselves, in favor of abandoning the laws of Islam in the state, or will be devoted followers of their own religion, who wish that the state follow the rules of that religion. So in either case, a compromise cannot be made in accordance with the Islamic point of view…” 
If secularism is interpreted as an atheistic philosophy, no believer in religion would accept it, let alone a believer in Islam. Islam lays strong emphasis on belief in God and unity of God. Muslims believe in divine revelation of Quran and in Muhammad being Messenger of Allah. One need not challenge these beliefs in the name of secularism. Secularism should be taken in political rather than philosophical or ideological sense as seen in Turkey and France. Secularism in political sense creates social and political space for all religious communities.
Article by Beyti Kahraman
- ” Secularism ” Brittanica. 1911.
- Holyoake, George Jacob ,”Principles of Secularism Defined”,The Principles of Secularism Illustrated, London, 1871 (Chapter III)
- Abdel Wahab El Messeri. Episode 21: Ibn Rushd, Everything you wanted to know about Islam but was afraid to Ask, Philosophia Islamica.
- The French Concordat of 1801, Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04204a.htm , (21 April 2011)
- 1925, http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN/belge/2-15009/1925.html , (21 April 2011)
- The deep roots of French secularism, BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3325285.stm , (21 April 2011)
- Karaman, Hayrettin, “Lâiklik, İslâm, Türkiye “, İSLAM’IN IŞIĞINDA GÜNÜN MESELELERİ , İstanbul, 2003, http://www.HayrettinKaraman.net/yazi/laikduzen/2/0036.htm (21 April 2011), (DÖRDÜNCÜ BÖLÜM, HUKUK-EKONOMİ-İŞ HAYATI-CEMİYET)
- Sachedina, Abdulaziz Abdulhussein (2001). The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195139917
- Are Secularism and Islam Incompatible?, Yasser Latif Hamdani October 31, 2003, http://www.chowk.com/Religion/Islam/Are-Secularism-and-Islam-Incompatible, (21 April 2011)
- Iqbal quotes, http://www.allamaiqbal.com/poet/quotes/poetquot.html, , (21 April 2011)
- Al-Qaradawi, Yusuf, ‘Al-Hulul al Mustawradah wa Kayfa Jaat `alaa Ummatina’ (“How the Imported Solutions Disastrously Affected Our Ummah”), pp 113-4
- Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of Quran, http://www.scribd.com/doc/31153198/In-the-Shade-of-the-Qur-an-Sayyid-Qutb-Volume-5-Surah-6, (21 April 2011)
- Dr. Jaafar [sic] Sheikh Idris, “Separation of Church and State,” Jaafaridris.com, accessed June 23, 2010.  CNN, Nov. 14, 2006
- Ozsoy, Osman, “Fethullah Gülen ile canlı yayında Gündem, 2.Baskı, Sf.: 26, İstanbul 1998
- Prof. Nasr Abu Azyd , “Islam, Muslims and the West: Religion and Secularism; From Polarization to Negotiation” , Initiatives of Change in The Hague, February 11 2004.