In the view of many non-Muslims, Islam is a religion that promotes hatred and violence and claims are repeatedly heard of how difficult it is for non-Muslim minorities to live in peace and harmony in Muslims countries. Moreover, recent clashes between Muslim and Christian groups in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution have exacerbated prejudices against Islam, namely that it is a religion that promotes violence and that Muslims are inherently militant and irrational people who cannot tolerate living and cooperating with the followers of other religions. This misconception has sounded alarm bells amongst many Arab Christian leaders, who warn Christians in the Arab world of the danger of allowing Muslim groups to rule. It therefore becomes imperative to counter such depictions. The aim of this article is to explain from a Qur'anic point of view what should characterize Muslim relations and attitudes towards non-Muslims in day-to-day life and the rules that should be applied to non-Muslims. It concentrates on a selection of key Qur'anic verses relating to the subject and attempts to demonstrate that Islam as prescribed in the Qur'an and exemplified by the life of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions accepts, celebrates and even encourages diversity, harmony and peaceful co-existence with non-Muslims.


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