Saeed emails us asking;
Why does the Quran tell Muslims to force others to join their religion?
A whole chapter of the Holy Quran is devoted to this topic even its name is Al Kafiroon or The Disbelievers. It is a short chapter. It simply asks the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s) to say to the Disbelievers that he will not follow their faith and they will not follow his faith. The question then arises about what should be done. The Holy Quran says that for you i.e. Muslims is their faith and for them i.e. the Disbelievers is theirs and it is on the Day of Judgement that Allah will decided who was right and who was wrong. In the light of these instructions how can anyone say that the Holy Quran teaches Muslims to force others to embrace Islam. In another place the Holy Quran tells the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s) that his only duty is to deliver the message after that it is up to people whether believe it or not.
We can also use the story of creation where Satan refused to obey Allah and bow to Adam. What did Allah do? Did he force Satan to bow to Adam? No, he did not. Further, Allah gave Adam intellect and told him to decide for himself whether he wants to obey Allah or to obey Satan. It is meaningless to give Adam the right to choose and then to say that Muslims must force others to follow the right path. Why allow people to choose in the first place!
History also belies this. Muslims were in Spain for hundreds of years and all communities, Christians, Jews etc lived under their rule happily. Muslims ruled Indian for hundreds of years and yet it still had a majority of Hindus. Interesting, in the case of Spain, it was one sect of Christians persecuting another which led to the Muslim invasion at the request of the persecuted minority.
And of course the Holy Quran says: There is no compulsion in religion.