Freedom of Non-Muslims: Fiction or Reality?

In Islam, the primary right of the People of the Book is to be protected and safeguarded against any foreign aggression
Sea bird flying

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 presents these materials in an attempt to answer these questions.


   Preaching Religion

Preaching Religions: Whose Double Standards?

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?

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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?"

A reader asks "Should people of different faiths agree on a code of ethics with regard to preaching religions?"

A reader asks "What is the difference between the world of believers and disbelievers and how Muslims should treat the unbelievers?"

   Freedom of Religion

Freedom of Religion

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."

Read Also:

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?

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 non-Muslim reader asks "How does Islamic law protect human rights since human rights have only become accepted in recent times and Islamic law was formed many centuries ago?"

   No Compulsion in Religion

Compulsion in Religion

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?

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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?"

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."

A reader asks "What does it mean when Allah says in the Quran 'There is no compulsion in religion'?"

   Non-Muslims Living Under an Islamic State
-bird-Non-Muslims Under Islamic State

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?

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A reader asks: "I would like to know of what kind of court was it (penal, civil, property and etc.) and if the minorities were allowed to participate in the Muslim penal law. How should the Islamic state deal with religious minorities, which are not ahl al-kitab (People of the Book)?"

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: "Does it mean that nowadays to establish Islam in a society or country, Muslims or Islamic political parties should hold important state positions? Some political groups offer this prayer of our Prophet (peace be upon him) as a proof for their policy of accepting powerful state appointments or important government posts. Please explain"

  Fighting Non-Muslims
06 Fighting Non-Muslims During Peace

Must Muslims do jihad (striving for Allah) until all people get under the Islamic rule?

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A reader asks: "Does Islam or the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) encourage war as a solution to problems? Did the early Muslims spread Islam by the sword?"

A reader asks: "You speak of the divinity of your Book; but if you read Surat At-Tawbah verse 29, how can you claim that this comes from God (killing people of other faiths) if God is loving and so on?"

A reader asks: "I have, many times, read that the verse (9:5) was only specific to a time of war waged against the Muslims and that it is only applicable to such a case. However, when I read the major exegesis on that verse (including Ibn Kathir, Al-Qurtubi, and I guess Ar-Razi as well) none of them mentioned this and almost all of them said that it is an eternal command for Muslims that "whenever, wherever", in their own words, the Muslims find the polytheists, they should kill them. I don't understand why those scholars would see it that way unless it has some truth in it. Please clarify this subject"

A non-Muslim reader asks: "Christians justify the crusades by saying that if it didn't happen, Muslims would have gone on conquering lands and killing people that didn't follow Islam. What do you say?"

Related Links:
The Quran in Focus (Folder)
Top 30 Q & As on Jesus in Islam
Non-Muslims … Get to Know Islam (Folder)
FAQs on the Quran and Non-Muslims (Folder)
Atheists: Ponder, Reason & Think (Folder)

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