Does Islam provide freedom of religion?

Does Islam accept diversity? Does it symbolize a diverse community like in USA today, or a more idealized way of living like in Iran or Saudi Arabia? Is Sharia an obligation? For example, should all people be covered in this kind of community, or do the rules of Sharia only bind Muslim people?

In a community which is ruled in accordance to the divine commandments, every person has a freedom of religion as well as a freedom of living accordingly to it. There can be no compulsion in this issue. Allah the Almighty commands:

 “There is no compulsion in religion. Surely, the right path has become distinct from the wrong. Whoever denies the astray and trusts in Allah, certainly grasps the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. Allah is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (Al-Baqarah / The Cow 2:256)

Therefore, no one can be forced to a belief, nor a worship or practice regarding to it. Everyone has a right to live as he wishes. However, due to governments’ responsibility of protecting the public from crimes and injustice; all crimes and unjust actions against human rights including immorality and the break of peace should be prevented by deterrent punishments.

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Date: Mar 4, 2013