Source: Huffington Post
Writer, activist, IHEU representative at the UN Human Rights Council
Following the most recent terrorist attacks in Allah’s name in Brussels and elsewhere, the debate surfaced again on the question of whether Islam, as we hear often, is a religion of peace. To answer this question, it is necessary to clarify what is meant by a peaceful Muslim: Is it enough when a Muslim distances himself from the Islamic State, even though he or she rejects the universal human rights such as freedom of religion and belief?
I will not be discussing this question from a theological point of view. Such an approach is unproductive. We can find in the Koran and hadiths both peaceful and violence verses. Instead, I will focus on the religion in terms of its actual social practice, to try to analyze the conditions in the countries where Muslims are the majority.
Do tolerance and social peace prevail in Muslim-majority countries which enshrine “Islam” in law? Nowadays in most such countries, atheists, apostates and those who convert to another religion are persecuted.
According to the NGO International Humanist and Ethical Union, there are 13 countries where expressing atheism is punishable by the death penalty. What these countries have in common, despite their differences: Islam is the state religion.