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ICC Note:
“Religious minorities in the Muslim world today, constitutionally entitled in many countries to equality of citizenship and religious freedom, increasingly fear the erosion of those rights — and with good reason,” the Huffington Post reports.
By John L. Esposito
2/23/2012 Middle East (Huffington Post) – Religious minorities in the Muslim world today, constitutionally entitled in many countries to equality of citizenship and religious freedom, increasingly fear the erosion of those rights — and with good reason. Inter-religious and inter-communal tensions and conflicts from Nigeria and Egypt and Sudan, to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia have raised major concerns about deteriorating rights and security for religious minorities in Muslim countries. Conflicts have varied, from acts of discrimination, to forms of violence escalating to murder, and the destruction of villages, churches and mosques.
In the 21st century, Muslims are strongly challenged to move beyond older notions of “tolerance” or “co-existence” to a higher level of religious pluralism based on mutual understanding and respect. Regrettably, a significant number of Muslims, like many ultra conservative and fundamentalist Christians, Jews and Hindus are not pluralistic but rather strongly exclusivist in their attitudes toward other faiths and even co-believers with whom they disagree.
Reform will not, however, result from exaggerated claims and alarmist and incendiary language such as that of Ayan Hirsi Ali in a recent a Newsweek cover story, reprinted in The Daily Beast.
Hirsi Ali warns of a “global war” and “rising genocide,” “a spontaneous expression of anti-Christian animus by Muslims that transcends cultures, regions, and ethnicities” and thus “the fate of Christianity — and ultimately of all religious minorities — in the Islamic world is at stake.”

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