Books and Documents

Islam and Tolerance

Islamic Heritage of Peace, Tolerance Celebrated
Raziuddin Aquil

The king also referred to interfaith dialogue and understanding in India for thousands of years, mentioning how Muslim scholars studied and wrote in Sanskrit and Hindu intelligentsia mastered a whole world of scholarship. Invocation to such historical experience can help develop a strong defence against violence; Muslims and non-Muslims can help out each other for a better future in an atmosphere that ensures security and peace for all....


One cannot deny that it is not only extremist groups which are using the guise of Islam to justify their inhumane crimes. It is also corrupt politicians and governments. The government of many ‘Islamic’ countries are indeed using the excuse of their interpretation of Sharia to oppress its people in order to gain power and control. Both extremist groups and corrupt governments have misappropriated the terms Islam, Sharia, and the like, in doing so they have created a barrier between the truly beautiful teachings of Islam and the rest of the world....


Tolerance Veritably Characterizes the Spirit and the History of the Islamic Tradition
Rameez Bhat

In the present era political analysts are fond of pointing to give examples of religious intolerance in the contemporary Muslim world and attribute the absence of tolerance to the backwardness of Islam, and in particular to the insistence by Muslims that religion must dominate and fashion the whole of life, restoring God to the public and the private sphere in non-negotiable and essential. This refusal to separate Masjids from State, such analysts conclude, is one of the main reasons why the Muslim world lags behind the west as regards both the principle and practice religious tolerance....

Intolerance — Fragility of Belief

A tolerant attitude can only come from a person who is self-confident in his beliefs. This confidence is built through rational thinking, logic and open-mindedness. Such person has no inner fear in listening to other opinions. If such an opinion does pass logic and rationality checks, then it is received with open-mindedness. Hence, to eliminate intolerance from society one should eradicate the intolerant mindset…


Terror and Tolerance: Beards and Burqas Become Symbols of a Hostile Faith
Irfan Husain

“That’s why it hurts that on Tuesday, ‘Allah u” and ‘Akbar’, those two simple words so close to our hearts, instantly shaped the entire news coverage and presidential response. A common, benign phrase used daily by Muslims, especially during prayer, is now understood as code for ‘It was terrorism’.” Words and images shape attitudes, and can lead to prejudices. Neighbours who until recently were friends are transformed overnight into suspicious foreigners. Beards and Burqas become symbols of a hostile faith.,,,

The Qur’anic Perspective of Tolerance: Eminent Muslims in Their Encounter with Christianity
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

            The Quran clearly reveals that, “all the children of Adam are equally honoured” by God (See, Surah Bani-Israil: 70). The Quran also takes an all-inclusive humanistic view in its understanding of justice and equality among all peoples. When it comes to judging actions that either benefit or harm humanity, the Quran does not distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims. As pointed out in Surah Nisah: 123-124,...

Of course, Sayyidna Umar was simply following what he learnt from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself, that the protection of life, property and religious freedom of minorities is the religious duty of the state. That he personally would be demanding justice in the hereafter on behalf of a Zhimmi who had been wronged by a Muslim. That there is no compulsion in religion and that Muslims must be just to friends and foe alike....

Meanwhile, men, women and children are being offered as human sacrifices on the altar of political cynicism. Divine justice will doubtlessly judge not only the murderers and a creed that often seems bloodthirsty, but also those who insist, against all evidence, that this creed has nothing to do with those deaths. The first step towards a solution is to question the received knowledge tirelessly dished out by media pundits in the West, and confirmed by too many supposed Muslim "moderates" both at home and abroad. What is lacking is simply seeing a huge body of evidence of theological justification for Islamist terror. ..

Why They Lynched Mashal Khan
Pervez Hoodbhoy

While searching for a real explanation, let’s first note that religiously charged mobs are also in motion across the border. As more people flock to Mandirs or Masjids, the outcomes are strikingly similar. In an India that is now rapidly Hinduising, crowds are cheering enraged Gau Rakshaks who smash the skulls of Muslims suspected of consuming or transporting cows. In fact India has its own Khan — Pehlu Khan....

Mashal Khan: A Son from Swabi

Next to Mashal’s house is a mosque where the prayer leader, Fazle Amir, tried to provoke people and cast doubt over Mashal’s innocence. Background interviews with family and neighbours reveal that Fazle Amir tried to dissuade people from attending the funeral. “We were about 50 people who laid Mashal’s body to rest,” says Mohsin Waqar, a cousin. “Around 300 to 400 people were standing outside like confused spectators.”...


In The Name Of God: Blasphemy-Related Crimes
Sanchita Bhattacharya

The dangers of the Blasphemy Law are that related "crimes" require no proof of intent or evidence to be presented after allegations are made and does not include any penalty for false allegations. Moreover, most of those who are accused in blasphemy crimes in Pakistan spend years in prison, waiting for a hearing....


They shot him, drilled screwdrivers into his skull and mutilated his dead body in a frenzy of murder and grating vengefulness, duped and urged on by sectarian vigilantes and clerics. Having killed him, the bloodthirsty mob cheered wildly, congratulated each other and then solemnly swore not to disclose who all actually took part in the gory manslaughter....


Looking For Enlightenment Post-Masha
Khadim Hussain

Privatisation of jihad and justice and negation of human aesthetics lie at the core of this narrative. The curriculum, pedagogical methods, and academic environment suppress critical thinking and suffocate creative consciousness. To add fuel to the fire, dissenting voices are curbed with full force of the state. Intellectual and creative endeavours are castigated and stigmatised....


Suhana, Nahid and the Curse of Muslim Intolerance
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

It is not also enough to say that when Prophet of Islam went to Medina, women sang in his honour. It is also not enough to cite Hadiths where it is stated through Aisha, the Prophet’s wife that women used to come and sing in her house in the presence of the Prophet. What is required is an attempt to break this scholarly consensus which argues that music and singing is forbidden in Islam. Doing so does not require an exegetical exercise of sifting through the pages of Islamic literature, but to argue boldly and consistently that Islam needs to be one with the fundamental marker of contemporary modernity: that of expanding choice and freedom. It is up to these Mullahs and overtly sensitive Muslims to decide whether they want Islam to become an ossified, irrelevant doctrine or whether they want it to be a flag bearer of inclusivity and freedom....

The Intolerance of the Cult of 'True Islam'
Haroon Riaz

We may feel appalled by the Islamic State and dismiss and condemn them as “Kharijites,” but what about the apologies for the very philosophy that they are acting on? Are they not found all over Pakistan? Or sitting in the next cubicle at your workplace? Religious zeal and puritanism sound like nice ideas but they need to understand that the fabric of the society cannot remain intact without the necessary tolerance for the faith of each other....


A Half-Victory for Tolerance in Indonesia

Ahok’s opponents seem to have concluded that the surest path to victory is to pander to the sectarians. Both Mr Baswedan and Mr Yudhoyono attended dawn prayers with Mr Shihab at the latest rally, even though moderate Muslim groups had told their members to stay away. Mr Baswedan, who was once feted as a model of tolerance, also gave a speech at FPI’s headquarters in January alongside Mr Shihab, who has twice been convicted of hate speech and used to be shunned by mainstream politicians....


We need to take a hard look at our Blasphemy Law and discuss whether, as a society, we want to have a law that allows the imposition of a majority’s subjective religious right at the expense of others’ basic rights with little or no limitation, and a society whose culture of rightful subjective imposition is unchallenged and unmoderated. Hopefully, the answer is no....


A number of new factors, however, are contributing to an increasingly intolerant trend. One has been the rise of Salafism, a conservative, often puritanical, movement within Sunni Islam originating mainly from Saudi Arabia. In Southeast Asia, despite certain differences, the term is frequently used interchangeably with Wahhabism, a branch of the Islam often associated with ISIS and Al-Qaeda....


Religious Extremism and Intolerance in Pakistan
Malik Muhammad Ashraf

Pakistan has become hostage to the self-proclaimed righteous guardians of the religious tenets as interpreted by them against the spirit of Islam, which believes in building social harmony, peace and protection of the minorities living in an Islamic country.….


In Pakistan, Voices of Tolerance Are Clamouring To Be Heard Amid the Dominant Extremist Rhetoric
Haroon Khalid

At least in the popular imagination, Sindhi culture is seen as the last vestige of religious and cultural syncretism that was once spread all over Pakistan, including Jhang. For example, Jhule Lal, a deity of the Sindhi community, is revered by Muslims and Hindus alike. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar a Muslim mystic who tapped into Shaivistic asceticism and translated it into a Muslim ethos...

Politics, Plurality and Inter-Group Relations in Indonesia: Strengthening Tolerance
Jeremy Menchik

Indonesia’s plural legal system is similar to those of India, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and Spain in providing a mixture of individual and collective forms of recognition. Indonesia’s mass Islamic organisations are similar to those of Senegal, Egypt, and Turkey as well as to mass Christian organisations in Northern Europe and Latin America….


Indonesia’s Blasphemy Laws

The use of blasphemy laws is linked to rising religious intolerance. In recent years hard-line Islamists have become increasingly assertive, railing against deviants, heretics and their ilk. Muslim parties in parliament have pushed laws against alcohol, pornography and sexual minorities. Yet it is not at all clear that these moves have widespread support….


Death of Debate: Unfortunate That Intolerance Is Considered A Characteristic That the Holy Quran Teaches
Durdana Najam

Our entire religious discourse revolves around worshiping the name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) rather than following in his footprints. The whole life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was an epitome of tolerance, and that too with everyone including the non-believers. Not everyone embraced Islam neither was it required of the scheme of God when Islam was revealed. ....

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....

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  • I am completely in tune with Mr. Ghulam Mohiyuddin that no religion should claim superiority. All the religions...
    ( By P.S. Bhandari )
  • Science is progressing at a tremendous speed.It does not have a prophet.Anyone can propose anything with...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Ramachandra Guha had conveniently present one important point...
    ( By c.sugumar )
  • my country right or wrong. that is the best that moderates can provide. imputing intentions....
    ( By hats off! )
  • The article reflects the research done by many scholars, not the author's alone. Doubting his intention is meaningless, unless one also counters ....
    ( By C M Naim )
  • Geetha is one of the summary, but there are Vedas, Upanishads to count n realise the justice! I don't ...
    ( By Ramachandra G Pandeshwar )
  • This is the reply of Professor. That Islam is complete code. Obviously we know fairly well that backwardness and religion is interconnected. That is why ...
    ( By Bilhan Kaul )
  • @Nizam Elahi yes off course for chriatians bible is right for hindus geeta is right for muslims quran is right. ex muslims or ex hindus ...
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • The conclusion out of this post n reactions/ comments leads to merely one point that whatever Holy Quran says is absolutely right. In the ....
    ( By Nizam Elahi )
  • We used to but when we came to know how Muslims are continually working towards establishing Islamic rule by clear population explosion etc, how they ...
    ( By Kuldeep Madaan )
  • श्रीस्वामीसमर्थाय नमःDear Shri Bilhan Kaul Sir Namaskar With Full Regards Sir. 1. Congratulations for being Forthright and absolutely
    ( By Vasant Narayan Deshmukh )
  • @Arshad Andrabi But why are you keen that others must follow. Show your keenness to yourself. You are entitled to hold your opinions. But why ...
    ( By Bilhan Kaul )
  • Prophet pbuh & his companions are the role model of real Sufis.they follow the command of Quran & Sunnah.jihad in its right perspective invigorates human ...
    ( By Arshad Andrabi )
  • Quran is Islam and Muhammad is Allah. Quran is the source of islamic terrorism.Sufi and wahabi are same because Quran is the central idea.
    ( By Kuldeep Madaan )
  • @Kafeel Farozy sir, kindly, enlighten us about 1. Who introduced sufi ism ?? 2. when was it found ?? 3. Was islam incomplete before d ...
    ( By Manzoor Hussain )
  • Shujath Zargar sufism is not doesn't promote Tawheed bro, go through the quran.. It goes against the teachings of rasool sallallahi alayi wa sallam
    ( By Jayed Aktar )
  • @Kafeel Farozy brother i think u r misinformed or u have misinterpreted,i know many of my relatives are sufi
    ( By Jayed Aktar )
  • Don't try to Create confusion Mr manzoor. Ideology of sufism is love and peace as per teachings of Islam and sufism is a way to ...
    ( By Shujath Zargar )
  • Ajoy Dutta Charge flows along d gradient, not uphill, against d gradient'
    ( By Manzoor Hussain )
  • But can be infused.'
    ( By Ajoy Dutta )
  • Dear brother manzor,I think you are mislead,misinformed,.plz go through the definition of (sufi).
    ( By Kafeel Farozy )
  • U r absolutely mistaken sir, ideology can't be purchased'
    ( By Manzoor Hussain )
  • @Manzoor Hussain U didn't mention the activity of petro doller in south asia & Africa.
    ( By Ajoy Dutta )
  • Sufi-ism is an amalgamation of vedanta n some superficial(modfied) rituals of lslam, it has nothng to do with islam,which s a religion ....
    ( By Manzoor Hussain )
  • @Mohd Danish Syeed Then there is no meaning for religion! It is found in wild life from million years, natural habitat!
    ( By Ramachandra G Pandeshwar )
  • @Mohd Danish Syeed They ask me, do you believe in God? I ask them, what is God?
    ( By Rajan Puzhankara )
  • God is god there is only one belive he created everything and we are his children's so who come people having diffrent attributes toward him
    ( By Mohd Danish Syeed )
  • Religion must be purely personal. No two persons will have the same concept about God'
    ( By Rajan Puzhankara )
  • Mr Ishaque Khan, Is Beard is mean of Islam?'
    ( By Asit Singh )
  • Mr. BILHAN u need to learn to be courteous first ... if he goes on preaching tenets which are against the principle of religion he ...
    ( By Ishaque Khan )
  • @Ishaque Khan If he cannot get hairs,? or a lady cannot be sultan?'
    ( By Ramachandra G Pandeshwar )
  • @Ishaque Khan But why should he wear a beard. Why are you dictating to him?If he likes beard he will keep it. Who are you ...
    ( By Bilhan Kaul )
  • Mr. Sultan FIRST keep a beard and then go on preaching others about Islam .... 👎'
    ( By Ishaque Khan )
  • Sultan shahin give your contec number'
    ( By Husein Sherasiya )
  • Yeh Sultaan Shaheen koun hai jo Islam kay baray main aur khas tour per JIHAAD kay barsy baghair jaanay bakwas kar raha hai.'
    ( By Zamiruddin )
  • Music is harram in islam and sufism alow it so it is clear sufism has noting relation with islam'
    ( By Er S. Adnan Dar )
  • @M Amin Shah How should I interpret this sirji? That the whole world becomes Islam. Or any other way'
    ( By Ranga Rajan )
  • Everyone says Mr Shah that my religion is complete code of conduct. It is that you are love with your own self and you confuse ...
    ( By Bilhan Kaul )
  • @M Amin Shah You are out of sync with reality. Being bold without any reason betrays weakness.'
    ( By Bilhan Kaul )
  • @M Amin Shah What about jihadism & totalitarianism? U r silent on this.'
    ( By Ajoy Dutta )