We are working for the recognition of alternative Quran-interpretations and religious diversity. Empathy, respect and tolerance are the key words
We are working for the recognition of alternative Quran-interpretations and religious diversity. Empathy, respect and tolerance are the key words. We are not representative of Denmark’s Muslims nor do we wish to be. Nobody can speak on behalf of Islam. Muslims speak on their own behalf. Many attempts to unite Muslims in Denmark have often ended in theological discussions about who are the true Muslims. By starting from the point of diversity, we want to avoid the discussion of who are the true Muslims. The idea that there is a true version or interpretation of Islam has dangerous consequences, as it involves the exclusion of all others who differ from the alleged true interpretation. People who do not recognize or tolerate differences in the interpretation and practice of Islam cannot help to bridge and reconcile values in a society where competing perceptions of what is valuable live side by side. It is not our different approaches to the Quran, which creates divisions. It is our lack of acceptance of the right to be different, which creates divisions and sectarian intolerance. Diversity is a blessing according to the Quran. The Quran’s idea of the good and righteous person is not conditional upon race, gender, faith or nationality. The only thing that separates one person from another is spiritual excellence or virtue understood as righteous actions. That is, to do good to other people and to accommodate their neighbour in spite of our differences. Kindness, patience, mercy and tolerance are the clearest signs that a person carries Islam in his heart. We believe that God has created a diverse world because He has wanted us to want diversity. Precisely to understand His unity (tawhid). “O humankind! Surely We have created you from a single (pair of) male and female, and made you into tribes and families so that you may know one another (and so build mutuality and co-operative relationships, not so that you may take pride in your differences of race or social rank, and breed enmities). Surely the noblest, most honourable of you in God’s sight is the one best in piety, righteousness, and reverence for God. Surely God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Quran 49:13) “Those who believe or those who declare Judaism, or the Christians or the Sabaeans – whoever truly believes in God and the Last Day and does good, righteous deeds, surely their reward is with their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.” (Quran 2:62).