Derived from European historical experience, which sought to remove coercive power from ecclesiastical authority and thus safeguard freedom of religion; separation of religion and state. Often interpreted by Muslims as the removal of religious values from the public sphere, and therefore condemned. Muslim theologians have long distinguished between matters of din (religion) and dawlah (state) but insist that public life must be guided by Islamic values. Historically, Muslims have experienced secularism as an ideology imposed from outside by invaders and colonialists, thus as an extension of foreign culture. The battle perceived by Islamists between religion and secularism pits secularist attempts to define Islam as a matter of personal belief against those for whom reimposition of Islamic law and Islamic political authority is essential.