In his letter to the editor (“Madison Muslim mosque zoning flap reeks of intolerance,” 8/10/09), Robert Donald makes a number of misstatements of fact and misrepresentations of Islam.
His main misperception is that Islam somehow mandates killing people of other faiths and beliefs, whom he calls “infidels.” Mr. Donald pulled a few words from the Quran out of context, but anyone familiar with the Quran would know that the fragments of verses he quoted refer to specific historical conflicts; they do not justify wanton violence.
In fact, the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, gives religious protections to minority faiths. A Muslim man can marry a Christian or Jewish woman without any obligation or expectation that she change her religion. When Jews faced persecution in Europe, many fled to safety in Muslim lands. Many Muslim countries have centuries-old Christian and Jewish communities that clearly would not exist if Mr. Donald’s claims were a reflection of true Islamic beliefs.
The Quran states: “Rest assured that (Muslims), Jews, Christians and Sabians - whoever believes in God and the last day and perform righteous deeds - will be rewarded by their Lord; they will have nothing to fear or to regret.” (The Holy Quran, 2:62)
If you would like to read for yourself and form your own opinions, I invite you to request a free copy of the Quran (there is a small shipping charge for those who are not public officials) that includes English translation and historical notes. You can request a copy of the Quran at www.explorethequran.com.
National Communications Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations