Originally Published in The Chicago Sun Times
The Saudi Arabian grand mufti’s desire to eradicate all churches in the Arabian Peninsula indicates religious coercion — an act the Holy Quran wholly rejects [“Saudi grand mufti calls for ‘destruction of all churches in region’ ”].
The Quran promotes universal religious freedom, even commanding to protect the “churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of God is oft commemorated” (22:41). Christians, Jews, pagans all lived in Muslim lands during Prophet Muhammad’s time and for centuries after.
No legitimate Islamic authority supports the mufti’s belief that the Prophet Muhammad removed pagans, Christians, Magians and atheists from the Arabian Peninsula. The grand mufti should instead extend an invitation to Christians into the Muslim land.