Image: On Islam
Image: On Islam

New York, 27 Rabi’ul Awwal 1436/18 January 2015 (MINA) – Standing up to the spread of Islamophobia campaigns, a leading US civil rights organization has launched two of its educational campaigns in response to the current debate about Islam and free speech in the wake of the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks.

“There are specific and clear verses in the Qur’an that instruct Muslims to respond peacefully and with prayer to insults and mockery,” Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement obtained by On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“Free speech is at the core of Islamic beliefs.”

The Washington-based civil rights group says its research shows a correlation between increasing knowledge of Islam and decreasing anti-Muslim prejudice.

In a bid to spread true information about Islam, CAIR has launched its “Share the Qur’an” campaign to enhance understanding of Islam through the free distribution of copies of the Qur’an to Americans of other faiths who request a copy.

The high-quality volumes of the Qur’an distributed in CAIR’s “Share the Qur’an” campaign contain the original Arabic script, an English translation by Muhammad Asad, transliteration of the Arabic text, and notes on individual verses.

They include a bookmark guide to the verses related to topics such as women’s rights, social justice, and respect for other faiths.

Awad cited Quranic verses calling for respecting religious freedoms including: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error.” (The Holy Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 256).

“For, [true] servants of the Most Gracious are [only] they who walk gently on earth, and who, whenever the foolish address them, reply with words of peace.” (The Holy Quran, 25:63)

“A good deed is not like a bad deed. Repel that which is bad with that which is good. Indeed, maybe he whom you have an enmity with may become a close friend.” (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 41:34)

“Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.” (The Holy Qur’an, 7:199). (T/P006)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)