Texts & Audiobooks
Read and listen to the most relevant sources on religious freedom in Islam.
At Home with Religious Freedom
by Abdullah Saeed
Islam and religious freedom: are they compatible or on a collision course?
Abdullah Saeed examines Islamic teachings in the Quran and in the Hadith regarding the status of religious minorities living in Muslim-majority societies and he surveys the perspectives of major Muslim scholars around the world today on whether or not Islam and religious freedom can coexist.
In addition, he considers whether Muslim societies stand to benefit or face a threat from religious freedom, not least of all the freedom to explore and debate their own faith.
Islam and the Freedom of Belief
by Dr. Usama Hasan
This monograph outlines an Islamic case for Freedom of Belief, opposes the idea of strengthening blasphemy laws, and supports the reconsideration of such laws around the world, based on arguments from within the traditions of Islam.
A Faith-Based Critique of the 'Defamation of Religions' Concept
by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
This position paper No Compulsion in Religion opposes "the misguided Defamation of Religions concept ...for two main reasons:
"First, it runs contrary to Islamic teachings promoting religious tolerance and a free, civil exchange of ideas.
Second, it has not prevented the bigotry and violence it has sought to guard against. In fact, evidence in several countries shows the opposite – local blasphemy laws have provided a pretext for vigilante violence, and legitimated harassment and violence against people with different religious and political views."
by Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid
"Sanctions against freedom of religious inquiry and expression act to halt the developmental process of religious understanding dead in its tracks – conflating the sanctioning authority’s current, limited grasp of the truth with ultimate Truth itself, and thereby transforming religion from a path to the Divine into a “divinized” goal, whose features and confines are generally dictated by those with an all-too-human agenda of earthly power and control."
A Historical and Scriptural Analysis
by Taha Jabir Al-Alwani
In response to the hadith that states, "Whoever changes his religion, put him to death," Alalwani writes:
"It should be noted that the unconditional application of this hadith leads to a result that no one would ever advocate, namely, the abrogation or suspension of nearly two hundred verses of the Qur'an which reject the principle of coercion in matters of faith and stipulate absolute human freedom to choose what one will believe and what religion one will profess!
"As has been seen, the Qur'an affirms that there is no earthly penalty whatsoever for the decision to change one's religion (so long as the individual concerned is not guilty of some other crime). On the contrary, what the Qur'an affirms is that the right to declare the penalty for simple apostasy (that is, apostasy not associated with any other crime) belongs to God alone."