Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Open Forum: Don’t quote Quran out of context

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Kristy Kistner wrote in her letter that Muslims do not exercise freedom of religion since those who change their religion are called apostates and face the death penalty (Jan. 24).

I agree with her that a significant number of Muslims subscribe to this belief. However, I would like to bring it to her attention that the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community do not hold such a belief.

We believe strongly that everyone has the freedom to choose as he wills since the Quran explicitly says that there is no compulsion in religion (2:256). There can be no contradiction to this statement.

I would also like to remind Ms. Kistner that one should not take verses from the Quran or the Bible out of context. Before she quotes one verse, she should do the research on the background. The verse she quoted (4:89) is in reference to conditions where the Muslims were at war. The next verse says, “So, if they keep aloof from you and fight you not, and make you an offer of peace, then remember that Allah has allowed you no way of aggression against them” (4:90).

The Quran does not mention anywhere that the apostates should be put to death. Those who choose to insist on the contrary are in grave error.

Shahina Bashir, Germantown