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Islam and Tolerance

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. ….

Islam and Religious Tolerance
Sheikh Ishaak Nuamah

The Prophet accepted the gift sent by Maquqas, the ruler of Egypt, and also the slave girl, who had the honour of giving birth to the Prophet’s son Ibrahim, who lived only a few months. And one advice given by the Prophet is also this, “You should remain well-wishers of the Copts since you have relatives among them.”...

We Must Fight Intolerance
Mehr F. Husain

The people’s inability to define what they want, the weakness to stand up for what they believe in, and most importantly the inability to reach out to those who needed compassion thus helping them to come out of their comfort zones instead of clutching onto half- baked excuses that justified their inactivity have provided leeway for such heinous acts as the one by the bomber….

“Across the world, people are being singled out and hounded out simply for the faith they hold....[Middle Eastern Christians] are rooted in their societies, adopting and even shaping local customs. Yet...[a] mass exodus is taking place, on a Biblical scale. In some places, there is real danger that Christianity will become extinct.” These words, delivered by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi during a speech in the US, delivered at Georgetown University, have become a topic of debate on various forums — a majority of US commentators have attributed the phenomenon to the rise of ‘Islamist extremism’....

 
Spirit of Tolerance in Islam
Dr.Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Tolerance is a basic principle of Islam. It is a religious moral duty. It does not mean "concession, condescension or indulgence." It does not mean lack of principles, or lack of seriousness about one's principles....

Jinnah, Bhutto and the Legacy of Intolerance
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

That the two torchbearers of secularism in the history of Pakistan created a separate country in the name of religion and excommunicated a religious sect respectively speaks volumes for the legacy of secularism that we have inherited. That the two torchbearers of democracy refused to work under the mandate of Congress and the Awami League respectively and needed separate states to manifest their ideals, reveals our democratic ancestry. And so it should come as no surprise that both religious coexistence and democracy are alien concepts for us.....

 

The Ahmadiyah minority still faces discrimination even by the Religious Affairs Ministry, which should cultivate tolerance amid diversity. Then there are the Shiites in Sampang, Madura, East Java, who are being required to convert to the “proper” Islam if they want to return home. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s President was honored earlier this year for his efforts to instill a culture of tolerance…….

 

Leaving Islam Behind Is a Scary Prospect for Britain's Ex-Muslims
Hussein Kesvani

Having obeyed Islamic practices, playing an active role in Dawah (proselytising) and becoming a supporter of the Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) in London, she eventually became disillusioned with the brand of unrepentant Salafi Islam that continues to dominate the group.....

The nefarious act was conducted by the ‘Pakistani Taliban’. The ‘Afghan Taliban’, on the other side of the border, are struggling to establish an Islamic state in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taliban are a different species altogether. They are the miscreants inducted from within Pakistan by the intelligence agencies. ...

Tolerance in Islam
Atif Noor Khan

Islam teaches tolerance on all levels individual, groups and states. It should be a political and legal requirement. Tolerance is the mechanism that upholds human rights, pluralism (including cultural pluralism), and the rule of law.….

 

Tolerance is not the same thing as limitless freedom: constructive liberty requires some measure of social control and some manner of legislated social values — especially when it comes to the relationship between the state and its citizens……

Planned Muslims Response to Qur'an Burning By Pastor Jones on 9/11/13 in Mulberry, Florida
Mike Ghouse

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favour by shaking us up by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.  As Muslims and citizens we honour the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticise, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' free expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our societies. ...

Saudi Arabia Backs Religious Tolerance - Except At Home
Adam Coogle

It is hard to imagine how such a horrendous record on religious freedom squares with the kingdom's stated policy of promoting interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance around the world. If the Saudi government intends to have any credibility in fostering religious dialogue and harmony, it must first put an immediate end to invoking religion to punish those who peacefully advocate principles and ideas that the government does not share……

Islam Should Seek Return to Tolerance
David Ignatius

Arguing for tolerance and moderation at a time when Egyptians and Syrians are slaughtering each other may seem like folly, but it’s grounded in a practical reality. To rediscover the golden age symbolized by “Al-Andalus,” the Arab Muslim world must recapture the inclusive spirit that sustained Cordoba and Granada. Otherwise, the broken political culture will not mend....

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Sufi scholars keep silence wherever their traditional approach is questioned.  On sectarian issues they never miss the oppertunity.
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • My last comment on Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, addressed to Sultan Shahin Saheb has been repeated due to captcha problem. Therefore, the last one, ending with the ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
  • Observerif billions of people can misunderstood the God's message in 1400 years, why not Wahiduddin khan saheb. what if he is among those who ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Good to know that some Hindus in Pakistan are doing well, but this should not make us agonize less on the predicaments of religious ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sultan Shahiin  says, “Khalid Suhail Sb, Rather than calling it Taqiyya, why don't we take it as an evolution in thinking for the better.”  Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
  • Dear Sir, I dont think Muslims believe in co-e3xistence with other religions. You can proof of that all over the world. You can see ...
    ( By Tim )
  • Is there a contradiction in what the Maulana said?Reverend R. Bosworth-Smith wrote in "Mohammed & Mohammedanism" in 1946:   "Head of the state as well as the ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Debate and discussion on a subject as important as this should be certainly held. I will be travelling and busy with my work at ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Yes, that is how we have to bring revolution in youth mind and this is the time we have to work against this extreme ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Sufi scholars of NAI may post their scholarly comments on "Imamat of Women".Will they perform their Namaz behind a Woman Imam?
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Sufi scholars of NAI may post their scholarly comments on "Imamat of Women".Will they perform their Namaz behind a Woman Imam?
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Sultan ShahinIt is true only if the Maulana has replaced his early standing with evolved learning. If he continues to believe that only ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Dear Sultan ShahinIt is true only if the Maulana has replaced his early standing with evolved learning. If he continues to believe that only ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • This may make you angry but I suggest that instead of calling Ahmadis non-Muslims, let all Muslims become Ahmadis.  Then Islam will be really ...
    ( By Satbir Singh Bedi )
  • Khalid Suhail Sb, Rather than calling it Taqiyya, why don't we take it as an evolution in thinking for the better. All aware people ...
    ( By Sultan Shahiin )
  • Dear Sultan ShahinWhy don't you start from Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi? there your team hold some meetings/seminars.I think you must have some Aalims ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Why in a country full of mainstream peaceful, inclusive and moderate Brailvis, Mumtaz Qadri can't be hanged?who are his supporters?
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • The position of Brailvis/SUfis is not different than those of Devbandis with a difference that Devbandis didn't like calling Hindus kafir.in my childhood there ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • To: All Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam Forum   Read a published write-up re: biggest fraud in the name of "Islamic Mortgage" by a Mortgage mafia ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • A comment on this article by one of my learned friends:Dear Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi saheb,It should be so. But this is not perceived as that ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • MR GRDWhat is Islamic Banking? Why do you need a parallel Islamic banking? Is it not like having parelle Islamic Law(Shariat)? why you are ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • If the PDP-BJP government in J&K is successful, it would be good for all of India.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "The conflict inside the Muslim world might ultimately be characterized as one between tyranny and freedom, even if that tyranny is packaged in God's ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A MOSQUE AND A TEMPLE EXIST IN HARMONY   Perhaps serious revision of text books that portray minorities as the other could be the first step in this direction. ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • It seems Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is expert in practising Taqayyah (deception) which is now evident in his different books and articles. For example here he says ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
  • Shahin Sb, Part 1 and 2 of the article were written quite some time ago. What Pickthall said about the sense in which the Quran uses the ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Observer Saheb, I was trying this morning to look into possibilities of our ulema accepting your definition of kufr and kafir which is of great interest ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • A WITCH-HUNT ON CAMPUSES   Hardliners have long been waiting for an excuse to pounce. In November members of the Chinese Red Culture Institute, a group of scholars ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • OPEN MINDS WILL MAKE A LASTING CHANGE   There are those in Afghanistan who do not want women and girls to be educated. If we are to make ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • A SETTING FOR A MORALLY INSTRUCTIVE YARN   The American conversation about Islam may be noisy and confusing, but it isn’t new. And these forgotten images remind us to ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Mr Yunus,Dont you think your services are more required in Iraq where Quran is being implemented  in the literal sense by ISIS
    ( By tim )
  • Majid Nawaz I have seen you many times on show you always talk rational, but one point you miss always that Muslim always present ...
    ( By Aaiyna )
  • Very good article debunking some of the things that Graeme Wood's article in The Atlantic had averred.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The more women we have as imams and ulemas, the better. They will bring moderation. common sense and compassion to our discourse.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is a very sensible summation of what a reformed madrasa curriculum should be. A graduating student must be fully knowledgeable about Quran's abhorrence ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Essential Message of Islam" has been a very valuable companion as well as a resource book for me for the past several years. It is ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "I created......they have been promised". this first paragraph raise question that our parents on the earth never demand anything on the other hand they ...
    ( By Aaiyna )
  • stop calling non-muslim, call them other faiths people, either call yourself non-christian, non-hindus, non-buddist. stop adressing other faith people with negativity, as if muslims ...
    ( By Aaiyna )
  • Carry on Observer Sb, this seems doable, although I don't see ulema responding. But I am willing to try. Please prepare the paper, I ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • "The starting point for convincing should be the Aalims on your staff. "You are right. It's a very depressing scenario. Ulema are mostly Juhala. ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )