SHAFAQNA – It must be noted that although the principle of equality first appeared in the religious duties which all believers from men and women, white, black or others are bound to observe these duties (for example in congregational prayers, pilgrimage to Hajj, etc.) without any discrimination but this principle is also exercised in social relations. This principle means that all individuals are equal in rights and duties and a single legal, judicial system will govern them. This rule will be used for Muslims wherever they reside and all those non-Muslims who live in Islamic territories. Therefore the three elements of the principle of equality are:
a. Prohibition of religious discrimination in citizenship rights
b. Prohibition of class discrimination
c. Prohibition of race discrimination
3. The principle of religious tolerance
In inter-religion relations, the most prejudicial manner is lack of tolerance because it will cause hatred, enmity and oppression between followers of religions. The examples of this can be seen in old times, middle ages and even in modern times. In recent years, the public opinion does not accept this type of blind fanaticism and religious freedom and tolerance are supported. In addition, new modern thinking invites cooperation and understanding between religions. This bilateral relation led to negative thoughts to be replaced by positive ones. Islamic rights also support religious tolerance, freedom of thought, understanding and cooperation between human beings.
Translated from Farsi text written by Ayatollah Dr Seyyed Mustafa Mohaqeq Damaad
To be continued