Islam’s Problem With Blasphemy

Good piece by Mustafa Akyol in the NY Times:

Before all that politically motivated expansion and toughening of Shariah, though, the Quran told early Muslims, who routinely faced the mockery of their faith by pagans: “God has told you in the Book that when you hear God’s revelations disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse; surely then you would be like them.”

Just “do not sit with them” — that is the response the Quran suggests for mockery. Not violence. Not even censorship.

Wise Muslim religious leaders from the entire world would do Islam a great favor if they preached and reiterated such a nonviolent and non-oppressive stance in the face of insults against Islam. That sort of instruction could also help their more intolerant coreligionists understand that rage is a sign of nothing but immaturity. The power of any faith comes not from its coercion of critics and dissenters. It comes from the moral integrity and the intellectual strength of its believers.

Islam’s Problem With Blasphemy – NYTimes.com.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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