There is a pervasive view in the media today that Islam does not support pluralism. Sadly, we often hear how difficult it is for non-Muslim minorities to live in peace and harmony in Muslim countries. Violent extremists who misuse Islamic theology to justify terrorist attacks have exacerbated prejudices against Muslims and today many people think that Muslims do not believe in pluralism and diversity.
By contrast, history reveals that Islam – as preached in the Koran and exemplified by the life of the Prophet Muohammad and his companions – actually accepts, celebrates and even encourages diversity.
It should be noted that the term “minority” has no place in Islamic law. It has no place in Sharia (or law based on Islamic principles) and jurists have never used the term. Rather, it emerged from Western societies, which use it to distinguish between ethnic groups.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Islam and pluralism are not incompatible
Dr Maher Y. Abu-Munshar writes in the Daily Star (Lebanon) about Islam and pluralism: