Religion and tolerance seldom go together

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TASMINA Ahmed-Sheikh’s claims Islam as being a religion of peace, ­underpinned by a respect for other religions and for ­human dignity (News, 16 June). ­“Compassion and tolerance are at its heart,” she continues.

We read this and variations of these claims from people of all religions in justifying their own faiths.

How can any religion be respectful of another religion as, after all, if you believe in 
a faith, it is the one in which you believe which is correct and the others are not. Even within religions there is a lack of tolerance, as seen in the conflicts between sects of Christianity as well as Islam. Even the smaller religions like Judaism have internal conflicts and intolerance which can and do lead to violence.

For those of us who are atheists, any religion is an 
affront to people’s dignity and religious tolerance does not appear to come high on any faith’s agenda.

In the past, religious beliefs were enforced on the population. The same could happen in the future if religion were to become a central pillar of our society again. Our country, be it the United Kingdom or an independent Scotland, must not allow religions to dominate our culture again. We have spent many years pushing back the tidal waves of religious dogma.

We should not be encouraging religions on the basis 
of them purporting to be tolerant of others or respectful of human dignity. History, and the present, shows they are clearly not.

Peter McGregor, Dunblane

COULD Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh tell us how much of this famous Muslim “compassion and tolerance” we could expect to see demonstrated by her fellow believers if, say, Scotland on Sunday were to publish a ­cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed?

When a Danish newspaper did so in 2005, Muslims ­responded by launching a global campaign of terror and intimidation, and to this day the cartoonist is forced to live under special police protection in fear of his life.

Ahmed-Sheikh later writes: “Islam has suffered a pretty bad press.” Is it really any wonder?

A McDonald, Glasgow

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