Is Islam Respectful of Other Beliefs?

Yes. The Quran states unequivocally:

There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clearly from falsehood… (Quran 2:256)

Freedom of conscience is an essential tenant of Islam. Truth can only be seen if it is not clouded by coercion. Protection of the rights of non-Muslims is an intrinsic part of Islamic sacred law. The Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) is reported to have said:

“He who hurts a non-Muslim citizen of the Muslim State-I am his adversary and I shall be his adversary on the Day of Judgment.”

“Beware on the Day of Judgment; I myself shall be the accuser against him who wrongs a non-Muslim citizen or lays on him a responsibility greater than he can bear, or deprives him of anything that rightfully belongs to him.”

History provides many examples of Muslim respect towards other faiths. Prior to the Spanish Inquisition, Jews and Christians lived and prospered in Spain for centuries under Muslim rule. Another well-known example is when ‘Umar, the second successor to Prophet Muhammad, entered Jerusalem. He refused to pray inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for he was concerned that some overzealous Muslims in the future might destroy the Church and build a Mosque there in his honor.