Countries with Muslim majorities are not tolerant
Stabroek News
November 30, 2001

Dear Editor,

In his recent letter Mr Forde speaks with pride about the conversion rate of apostates to the Muslim faith. Is this his yardstick for the success of the religion? What about a faith's ability to spread peace, tolerance, goodwill and love for his fellow man? Are these less important than filling up the mosques?

One of the central tenets of Islam is the duty of conversion - that the world is divided into two, Dar al Islam, the world of the faithful and dar al jihad, the others, and that the fulfilling aim of the religion is for the one to be subsumed by the other, for the unbelievers and non-believers to be brought under and into the faith. The reality of the world confirms this practice - in countries where muslims are the minority, tolerance is preached and is indeed expected from others towards Islam. Look at muslims in Britain. But in Islamic countries no such latitude is even remotely considered for non-muslims - can a Christian fund a school in Saudi Arabia, can a Hindu open a temple in Libya?

This is analogous to the practice of the Prophet. When he was in Mecca and he was still not powerful enough he called for tolerance. He said "To you be your religion, and to me my religion" (109:6). But that all changed when he came to power. Then killing and slaying unbelievers with harshness and without mercy was justified in innumerable verses.

Yours faithfully,

Robin Bhimal