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Islam and Tolerance
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See also: Islam and the Concept of Martyrdom

Islam and Tolerance

Islam has many faces. In the wake of the September 11 attacks in the US, and the publicity concerning Islamist intolerant doctrines, it is important to remember that Islam is as tolerant, or intolerant, as Christianity or Judaism. The Islamist use and distortion of doctrine is no different than the politicization of Christianity or Judaism by fundamentalism. It represents a danger that is present in all religions if their ancient tenets are taken literally, but not necessarily the "core" of the religion as it is accepted today. During most of the Middle Ages, Islamic lands were beacons of tolerance and havens for those fleeing Christian intolerance.

Soon after the attacks, Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times:

As Mr. Peres himself notes, this is not a clash of civilizations the Muslim world versus the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish worlds. The real clash today is actually not between civilizations, but within them between those Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews with a modern and progressive outlook and those with a medieval one. We make a great mistake if we simply write off the Muslim world and fail to understand how many Muslims feel themselves trapped in failing states and look to America as a model and inspiration.

"President Lincoln said of the South after the Civil War: 'Remember, they pray to the same God,'" remarked the Middle East analyst Stephen P. Cohen. " The same is true of many, many Muslims. We must fight those among them who pray only to the God of Hate, but we do not want to go to war with Islam, with all the millions of Muslims who pray to the same God we do."

As an Arab man in Jerusalem said, "All this killing for so long among the three religions of Ibrahim! But I ask you: When you get to heaven, do you really think the Divine will take sides?"
From the article "A letter to Al-Qaeda, The West and Anyone Else Willing to be Honest about the Truth"

Not one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself. Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim

Below are some sources on tolerance in Islam, assembled from the Web: http://www.the-webplaza.com/hajj/Islam.shtml
Islam A Religion of Tolerance, Not Hatred  http://www.binoria.org/albineng/june98/islam.html
The Spirit of Tolerance in Islam: http://pakistanlink.com/religion/99/05-07.html
From the Jordanian Embassy in the US:  http://www.jordanembassyus.org/022298005.htm
Muslim Peace Fellowship:  http://www.nonviolence.org/archivedsites/mpf/

From Islam Online:


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Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Bahai Holidays History of Islam and the Arabs  ;Islam and the Concept of Martyrdom Islam - My Religion - by Saida Nusseibeh Jew, Jews and Jewish - Sense and nonsense about Judaism An Introduction to Islam by Khaled Nusseibeh An English Translation of the Qur'an (Koran) - Complete - with an Introduction The Druze - an Introduction by Hammud Quteish

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