The Prophet Muhammad said many wonderful things, but one of the more significant to my mind is the statement recorded in the Qur’an (2:256): “There is no compulsion in religion…”
Were this truth recognized, children would no longer be raised in one faith or another. Instead, they would be taught to think, that is, to investigate and honor truth.
Were this truth recognized, evangelism would no longer involve conversion into a particular faith. Instead, those converted would be convinced of the value of relinquishing a belief in the unreal for no other reason than to make room for a more thorough understanding of truth.
Were this truth recognized, adults would no longer go to war on religious grounds. Instead, the faithful would work diligently to refine their relationship with truth, without regard to the processes of purification working out in their fellows.
Just as false and forced confessions lead to many wrongful convictions in courts of law, forcing another to accept a particular set of religious beliefs ﹣ whether it is done surreptitiously or blatantly, peaceably or violently ﹣ leads to false convictions about the most central matters of living.