There are a lot of misconceptions about the status of non-Muslims in Muslim countries.
The common questions that are always raised are: Can non-Muslims preach their religions? Are the followers of other religions allowed to practice freely their own beliefs or are Islamic practices forced on them? Are non-Muslims protected under the Islamic state? Does Islam allow non-Muslims to build houses of worship? Are non-Muslims allowed to work in any field of labor they choose? Why do Muslims threaten people with death if they forsake Islam for another faith?
Due to the importance of this issue, Reading Islam present these materials in an attempt to answer these questions.
How can Muslims expect other religion followers to let them (Muslims) preach Islam in non-Islamic countries, while Muslims do not allow others to preach their faith in Islamic countries?
If Islam is all about peace and tolerance of other religions, and if Islam allows other religions to do what they want, why in can't Christians do their prayers in public or build churches?
How can you say that there is no compulsion in religion, when at the same time, it is said that a Muslim who wants to convert to a different religion (leaving Islam) should be killed?
Must non-Muslims go to the mosque, wear hijab, and fast Ramadan ? Are the followers of other religions allowed to practice freely their own rituals, or are Islamic practices forced on everyone?
A non-Muslim reader asks "I am looking forward to going to Mecca City as a tourist but I am a Christian. I was wondering where the closest Christian church to Mecca is. If you could help me with this I would be very grateful."
A reader asks" What I like to know is that the Prophet told the people of Najran they had to pay the jizyah if they didn't join Islam. And if they didn't want to pay, they would have to fight against the Muslims in a war. Is this true? Would the Prophet use this kind of strategy to get people to join Islam?"
In Islam, the primary right of the People of the Book is to be protected and safeguarded against any foreign aggression, and Muslims are compelled to protect them in the event such a transgression is committed against them.
A reader asks "I was wondering what I should be doing in this situation. At my workplace, someone I work with is a Buddhist. She is constantly talking about her religion and what she believes. She knows my religion and as a Muslim, I know I can't degrade anyone else's religion. What can I do?"
Is Jizyah a kind of punishment on non-Muslims for not accepting Islam? Why do non-Muslims have to pay that kind of tax while Muslims don't have to?
A reader asks "I wish to know what would happen in the Muslim community if a man decided by himself that he wanted to leave Islam? In other words, if he decided to follow and believe in God but without following all that is literally stated in the Quran."
Must Muslims do jihad (striving for Allah) until all people get under the Islamic rule?
A reader asks "Why is it that if a Muslim chooses to convert to another religion, he has to be killed? I am not sure about my knowledge, but I have always wondered about this."