Preserving the Freedom for Faith: Re-evaluating the Politics of Compulsion
Abdullah bin Hamid Ali Monday, 13 June 2011Both the First Amendment of the US Constitution and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledge that the freedom of religion and conscience are fundamental civil and human rights due to all persons. Over 1,400 years ago in Arabia, the Qur'an made a similar declaration: "There can be no compulsion in religion. Right action is clear from error" (Q 2:256). This remarkable similarity in secular and religious formulations offers many reasons to marvel. Yet past and current history suggests that humans have a natural proclivity toward intolerance for ideological dissent.
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