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Books and Documents

Islam and Tolerance

Bringing Religious Intolerance Down to Earth: The Case of the Sunni-Shia Schism
Louay Fatoohi

The issue of whether ‘Alī or Abū Bakr should have succeeded the Prophet is completely historical and absolutely irrelevant to our world today. Any attempt to use it to take a view on today’s world is an attempt to manipulate history to serve present interests and/or to take the world 14 centuries back in time. In both cases, it is ultimately about exercising power and control. There is nothing godly or religious about playing out this difference of the past in today’s world......

Religious Tolerance: Muslims Must Stop Being Provoked By Allegations of Blasphemy, Instead, Recognise Efforts of the Occident to Bridge the Gap through Interfaith Harmony
S M Hali

Islam lays great emphasis on religious tolerance but currently, it is at its lowest in many Muslim societies. Islamic State’s (IS's) destruction of churches and massacre of members of the Shia faith has also tarnished the image of Islam. In Pakistan too, certain segments of society show a lack of tolerance towards other sects of Islam and other religious and ethnic minorities....

There is Zero Tolerance for Hate Speech in Pakistan, Even If You are a Cleric!
Zara Hafeez

In Pakistan, stirring religious hatred is unlawful. The law clearly states that any act or speech which instigates sectarian odium, whether inadvertently or wilfully, can lead up to a possible prison sentence for nearly seven years. Yet, there are hundreds of these clerics on the loose, who incite hatred every day....

 
Bangladesh: Freedom and Death
S. Binodkumar Singh

Bangladesh: Freedom and Death
S. Binodkumar Singh

"Al-Qaeda in Indian Sub-Continent (AQIS) is taking responsibility of killing Ananta Bijoy." AQIS, in another message posted on justpaste.it declared: "We want to say to atheist bloggers! We don't forget and we will not forget others who insult our beloved Prophet Muhammad and Allah. Another file closed! Stay tuned for next target....

 

You can Never Kill Ideas: An Anonymous Blogger on the Deaths of Secularists in Bangladesh
Ananda Bijoy Das

Ananda Bijoy Das was killed just two days ago in Sylhet, Bangladesh for simply saying, writing and expressing his opinions. Bangladesh had a strong secular tradition which is now being eroded. I was always proud of the fact that Bangladesh hadn't fallen to the scourge of Islamic fundamentalism….

 

Why Secular Expression is Being Killed in Bangladesh, One Blogger at a Time
K. Anis Ahmed

In the long and ongoing contest between an intolerant conception of Islam and a rationalist idea of what it means to be Bengali Muslim, the bloggers sadly are not the first victims. Sceptics, including prominent literary figures like Daud Haider in the 1970s and Taslima Nasreen in the 1990s, have faced strong Islamist backlash and have had to leave the country for good....

 

Is Bangladesh Following Pakistan Into Extremism?
Ananda Bijoy Das

The group have been marked for death by Hefazat-e-Islam, quite an effective arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, the religious-political organisation that wants Bangladesh to become like Pakistan, the country it broke away from. Ananda Bijoy Das has been hacked to death, meeting the same fate. He was walking out of his home in Sylhet when four people chased him and clobbered his head with machetes....

 

The Former Head of Germany’s Anti-Islam PEGIDA Movement Says ‘Sorry’ to Muslims
Rick Noack

She continued to condemn the mainstream media who continue to "severely criticize Muslims and their religion" and to use them as scapegoats. Ironically, during her time with PEGIDA, Oertel had condemned the media for not being critical enough of Islam, immigration and the rising numbers of asylum seekers in Germany....

In conversations with scholars, many pinpointed the frailty of institutions and economies compared to those of other world powers as the source of intolerance in the Arab world. “We are weak,” says Mohamed Farag, a journalist from a Muslim family who describes himself as agnostic. “We need something to protect ourselves from the outside world and Islam is the only option we have....

 
Religious Tolerance in Islam
Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi

The Prophet of Islam faced much difficulty and opposition in his own birth- place, the city of Mecca. He was eventually forced to migrate to Medina. But in spite of all the oppo­sition and even physical torture that his followers suffered in Mecca, Prophet Muhammad always approached the unbelievers of Mecca with tolerance....

 

Islam Does Not Preach Intolerance
Md. Asadullah Khan

Devout Muslims are always shocked to hear that the name of their faith, which means submission to Allah, can summon up such images of violence. Despite all the past visions of Saracens battling Crusaders, today's confrontations, as we see, is not a devotional conflict but a clash between perceptions of reality....

 

Bangladesh, historically a country of sedate Muslims who, more or less, believed, till recently, in peaceful coexistence of many faiths and many beliefs, has started losing the collective tolerance bit by bit....

 

Because I am a Pakistani
Sajeer Shaikh

Every religion preaches forgiveness, but there comes a time when forgiveness is no longer the answer. There is no room for forgiveness, as far as justice is concerned. The finger that pulls the trigger and the hand that throws the acid or grips the knife must be cut....

 

A Letter Concerning Muslim Toleration
Mustafa Akyol

Over the past decade, headlines from the Middle East have reintroduced Westerners to terms from centuries past. “Heresy,” “blasphemy,” “apostasy” — these are some of the charges that the radical Salafist group known as the Islamic State invokes when it executes its enemies, sometimes by crucifying or burning them alive. Some Muslim governments, including United States allies, also mete out harsh punishments for similar offenses. The liberal blogger Raif Badawi was publicly flogged in Saudi Arabia last month on a charge of heresy, which he allegedly committed by criticizing the oppressive Saudi religious establishment.

Rising Intolerance in Indonesia
Ahmad Sueady

Indonesia’s religion problem is part of a broader regional trend. In nearby Brunei, the government has banned at least eight “deviant” religions and fines schools for teaching any non-Islamic religious subjects. Similarly, Malaysia has banned 56 “deviant” interpretations of Islam, including Ahmaddiyah, Islamailiah, Shi'a, and Bahai. In Myanmar, the government has dealt harshly with Rohingya Muslims and Buddhist religious leaders……

 

In Islam, tolerance is to respect the religious difference though not approving it. Concretely, for instance it is like this that although Islam prohibits drinking for Muslims, it allows its non-Muslims community to consume it if their religion does not forbid doing so. Islam’s attitude towards non-Muslim is, “for you is your faith, and for me my faith” (109:6). Islam is completely against forced conversion. The Holy Quran states, “There is no compulsion in faith. The correct way has become distinct from erroneous”… (2:256). Islam even proscribes reviling the deities of other religions…..

 

Islam's Tolerance of Religious Minorities
Syed Farid Alatas

The Ottoman Empire (1299-1023) went beyond tolerance and accepted non-Muslim minorities, granting them protection and religious freedoms. By the 16th century, the Ottomans established control over large parts of Europe, ruling over large Christian populations. Sultan Mehmed developed a system in which each religious community, or millet, elected its own leader and enforced its own religious laws. Orthodox Christians constituted a millet; the Jews another. A proper approach to the interpretation of Quranic texts, involving a correct contextual understanding of its meanings, and the study of Islamic history, will reveal that tolerance and acceptance of non-Muslim minorities were the norm…..

 

Like all the Abrahamic religions, Islam is founded on tolerance. So why are droves of Islamic militants able to practise such brutality, asks Ahmed Naguib Roushdy ... The division of Muslims into sects, Sunnis and Shias, and the division of the Sunnis into four sub-sects, adds to the misunderstanding of the real Sharia. In Egypt, the Sunni Hanafi sub-sect is the official one. But sects are not relevant to Sharia. In fact, I consider the Egyptian law requiring that all court judgments follow the Hanafi sub-sect an imposition on Muslims to follow one sub-sect, when the Quran says, “la ikraha fi eddeen” (there is no compulsion in religion).

 

The Diversity of Islam: 20th century would not single out Islam as the bloodthirsty religion; it was Christian/Nazi/Communist Europe and Buddhist/Taoist/Hindu/atheist Asia that set records for mass slaughter

Islam was not particularly intolerant, and it initially elevated the status of women. Anybody looking at the history even of the 20th century would not single out Islam as the bloodthirsty religion; it was Christian/Nazi/Communist Europe and Buddhist/Taoist/Hindu/atheist Asia that set records for mass slaughter......

The intense religious fanaticism that characterised the Spanish Inquisition was conspicuously absent in Muslim countries where Jews carried out their religious pursuits unhindered. Intellectually Islamic culture borrowed large-heartedly from Greek culture. Indeed, the Hellenistic tradition, on which Western culture is based, did not come directly from the Greeks but through the Muslims who preserved it, added to it and passed it on to Europe when it emerged from the ‘dark ages.’….

 

By any sensible standard of reasoning, to research something does not imply 'glorification'. If I study various versions of the Ramayana, this does not imply that I'm glorifying this or that version. If I study the bombardment of Hiroshima, this does not mean I approve of atomic warfare……

 

Being a co-religionist can only be one basis for a common identity; it cannot be the only basis for forming a nation: culture, language, ancestry, geographic location and many other commonalities can be the basis of our identity as a nation. To privilege one group over other groups is a recipe for disaster in a multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious society. Does this question the status of the two-nation theory? Clearly it does….

The difficult question for societies based on tolerance is whether it is self-defeating to tolerate subcultures that exhibit extreme intolerance. The way some extreme versions of Islamic tradition are practiced in our country is anathema to our accepted values. We cannot hide from the dilemma this poses. We must ask for a greater public contribution to discussions about these issues from Muslim communities…..

 

Rulings of Islam on Religious Tolerance
Tayo Salami

Islam means complete submission to Allah by choice and conviction, not through force and compulsion. Islam accommodates and welcomes all people as brothers and sisters regardless of their distinctive association or background. The attitude of Islam towards the faithful of other religions is not only to show tolerance towards their beliefs, but also to affirm a non-negotiable Islamic principle of tolerance and religious responsibility....

The Quran Stresses Religious Tolerance
Waris Mazhari

Religious tolerance necessarily means that people should be not be coerced into following a particular religion. This is entirely in consonance with Islam. The Quran (2:256) insists ‘There shall be no compulsion in religion’. The occasion for the revelation of this verse further clarifies the Quranic understanding of religious tolerance. This verse was revealed in connection with a certain Muslim from among the ‘Helpers’ (Ansars) of Madinah named Abul Husain, who had two sons. It is said that they had become Christians when they were young and had been taken to Syria. ….



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NEW COMMENTS

  • is there any informed choice in the matter of religion?doesn't it apply more to religions than sects?
    ( By rational )
  • Muslims never fail to quote orientalists if they are in favor of them.for example mr mohammed yunus quote Maxim Rodinson. But has he ever ...
    ( By rational )
  • afaqsiddiqi sahebMuslims including moderates on this site or elsewhere are not able to digest a simple fact you mentioned in the comment to Sultan ...
    ( By rational )
  • afaqsiddiqi sahebMuslims including moderates on this site or elsewhere are not able to digest a simple fact you mentioned in the comment to Sultan ...
    ( By rational )
  • Mr Afaqsiddiqi,May I ask who is your creator? Is he the same as the one who sent down the Quran in the form of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Pankaj Verma,Who will burn in Hell and who will not is for God to decide. So ask God.As for what God says in the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mr Naseer Ahmad having known you through you write ups and comments I am sure you will not believe what I am telling you ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Dear Naseer!AS for as the worst creature is considered, it is already in your own article and you could read it again. For your ...
    ( By Pankaj Verma )
  • Very true. Actually, most of us are Shia or Sunni by birth. There is no informed choice. Whatever reasons we give for who should ...
    ( By Asif Merchant )
  • Mr Afaqsiddiqi,  Your understanding of the Prophetic mission of Muhammad (pbuh) appears to draw heavily on the works of the Orientalists. You may read the following articles ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Rational. I am grateful to you for you comment on my response to Ghulam Rasool Dehlavi. I have expressed my gratitude to Sultan Shahin ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Dear SultanShahin,My regards to you for showing affection to my appearance on your site.I am ,as I think,old enough to abstain from gibberish talks.You ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Dear SultanShahin,My regards to you for showing affection to my appearance on your site.I am ,as I think,old enough to abstain from gibberish talks.You ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Mr Ahmad's observation on the disrespect shown by believers and followers of the prophet his highly painful. But it definitely portends the pathetic  condition ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Shahin Sb quoted what I had said which was "the Quran does not say that the text of the earlier scriptures is corrupted". It does not ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Pankaj Verma,Can you quote my exact words to prove that you are not lying? 
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • dear afaqsiddiqi sahebyou made a very good comment to GRD saheb.I have just asked whether the morality is absolute or relative to society. ...
    ( By rational )
  • Sultan Sahin Ji. You want to tackle radicals in islam by keeping them on your side. In the very same website and as Naseer ...
    ( By Pankaj Verma )
  • Sultan Shahin sahebwell, keep saying whatever you like to call. can you tell me which verse i distorted? if there was any distyrotion it ...
    ( By rational )
  • Sultan Shahin sahebwell, keep saying whatever you like to call. can you tell me which verse i distorted? if there was any distyrotion it ...
    ( By rational )
  • Shahin Sb,There is an article on the subject which Rational has read. The article clearly identifies who these "worst of creatures" and "the best ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • My dear GhulamRasoolSahib,I am grateful for your response.In a very short response to your writeup I would request you to think and concentrate on ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Rational says, "tell some reason why Islam must be cared?" . . .   Why I care for Islam is my business just as why ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Rational, even after reading and seemingly agreeing with Naseer Saheb and now knowing very well that the word kafir does not mean unbeliever, but ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Polygamy is against the law in Western countries.  I go to a foreign country, I obey its laws and respect its people.Polygamy is impoverishing ...
    ( By Miriam12 )
  • GMtell some reason why Islam must be cared?should it be cared because it call unbelievers "worst creatures".Is Islam ugly so you want to paint ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMif my quotation from your holy books(?), your statements(wisdom?) irritate you, it is your problem not mine.have you monopolized prof. Naim?Is he like you ...
    ( By rational )
  • Sultan Shahin sahebi am least interested in who are you. you are enemy of Islam in eyes of many Muslims. There are no moderates ...
    ( By rational )
  • POLYGAMY IS BAD Nature keeps a balance among everything including men to women ratio, ideally is 1:1 with fluctuations from 995: 1005.  Even if 5% of ...
    ( By MikeGhouse )
  • Very well written and pointed letter. Hope there are many more like Ms. Iqbal to voice their views in England.
    ( By mohammad imran )
  • The Internet is far better at spreading hate and prejudice than at promoting understanding and knowledge. Moreover Muslims have failed to come up with a ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The full article posted is by Munawar Anees but the title is from a different article written by Muhammad Amir Rana. The Home page ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Thanks for putting the issue in its proper perspective, Arshad sahab.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Until and unless the Muslim world loudly and categorically condemns the radicalization of its youths by the fanatic goons, Islamophobia will remain a problem. ...
    ( By GRD )
  • Good Article. I wish every Muslim stand up like Seima Iqbal to counter counter the Media and the Islamophobia
    ( By Naseem Ahmed )
  • Dear Afaaq Siddiqui sb, I am glad to see you on this forum after a long time. Better late than never! However, what should disappoint you ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Give us new, fresh ideas, afaqsiddiqi sahib. How do we tackle the growing violence all around, perpetrated by people who claim to be Muslim, ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dears Sultan Shahin sb.After a long time I glossed over to the NAI to see what is keeping Muslims busy  on this site. I ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Am I listening Rational Saheb, in this and other threads, that you are not an enemy of Islam, not an apostate, do not want ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • The stupidest statement I have heard is that it is necessary to 'care' about Islam in order to reform it. Not so. British did ...
    ( By secularlogic )