Branding them ‘Others’ A survey of exclusionism in the history of Islam

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Dr Mohammed Shafiq, Dr Samina Begum, Dr Akhtar Munir, Dr Naqeeb Hussain Shah, Dr Khadija Aziz


The paper is an enquiry into and surveys the exclusionist tradition in Islam. It attempts to describe how apostasy and heresy have been used as excluding labels for those who differ in their opinions from those in ‘authority’. Is there any religious freedom in Islam? Is an open dialogue possible in Islamic tradition regarding religious freedom within its Identity on institutional level? Historically speaking the labelling tradition has been used throughout Islamic tradition including the modern times to silence the opponents using the traditional time-locked jurisprudence of early scholars. These formulations, being human construct, have been elevated to divine and thought to be fixed and unchangeable. But such labelling tradition has no grounding in religious texts and is entirely based upon the formulations, though appropriate for the times these were formulated, are seriously at odds with modern times, contradict when are tried to implement in different space and time. Islam provides with full freedom and prohibits any kind of coercion in matters of faith.   

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