Islam and Tolerance
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....
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....
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....
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….
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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.
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…..
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
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......
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
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…..
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....
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. ….
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.”...