In this article, the writer attempts to delineate the Qur’anic position on peaceful coexistence with the “other.”
Since the events of September 11, 2001, Muslims have become aware that they cannot afford to live in impregnable fortresses and that living in a pluralistic milieu requires an active engagement with the “other.” The events of September 11 also proved to the Muslim community that the silent majority syndrome has to end simply because Muslim acquiesce has encouraged an extremist expression of Islam. It is the extremists who have spoken on behalf of Islam as their acts of violence have drowned the silent voices of the Muslim majority. Hence, a discourse on the issue of peace and non violence within the Islamic tradition is to be welcomed. It is imperative to voice an opinion on an issue that is of major concern to millions of people, especially for a religion that has often been targeted as violent and militant. In this paper, I will attempt to delineate the Qur’anic position on peaceful coexistence with the “other.” In addition, I will examine the different modes of conflict resolution in Muslim societies in modern times. In the final section, I will discuss how dialogue can lead to peaceful coexistence and create an appreciation of the other.