Is Islam Tolerant of other Beliefs?
By Ali Unal
Yes. The Qur'an states unequivocally:
"There is no compulsion in religion." (Qur'an 2:256)
Protection of the rights of non-Muslims to worship is an intrinsic part of Islamic law. It is also stated in the Qur'an:
"God does not forbid you, with regard to those who do not fight you for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loves those who are just." (Qur'an 60:8)
This is why non-Muslim societies and religious places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslims' tolerance towards other faiths. For instance, prior to the Spanish Inquisition, Jews and Christians lived and prosperred in Andalus (Spain) for centuries under Muslim rule.
Islamic law also permits non-Muslims to set up their own courts and implement family and personal laws administered by their chosen religious authorities.