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March 2006:

1. DEAR ABE: Why do the Muslims not try to work things out peacefully and diplomatically, does God not allow them to compromise for a peaceful solution to their issues?  Do they have to follow through with aggression until everything ends their way? --JAM IN MEMPHIS

DEAR JAM: There are no instructions in the Quran requiring a Muslim to continue fighting until they are the winning party. The Quran provides flexibility for Muslims to negotiate, fight, or walk away. For sure, one stipulation is that God does not tolerate unprovoked aggression in the scripture [1].  Even when in war, if the opposing party offers peace, the followers of Quran would need to consider refraining from fighting [2].  Also through the Quran, God certainly advocates good diplomacy especially through encouraging peace treaties and abiding strictly by those treaties [3].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:193, 7:33, 42:42; [2] 4:94, 8:60-61, 4:90; [3] 4:90, 4:92, 8:72, 9:4, 9:7.


2. DEAR ABE: I am curious about Islamic beliefs and would like to visit one of their group gatherings, but am too concerned that they may try to put pressure on me to convert.  Are my concerns unfounded? --ON THE FRINGE IN ILLINOIS

DEAR FRINGE: You could find some Muslims who think it's beneficial to pressure you but, they should be few and far between since the advice in the Quran is to invite in a kind manner [1].  Therefore, if you were to attend any function, whether it were a Friday Prayer, Religious Study , or other event, there should be no pressure placed on you; since God’s recommendation in the Quran is to discuss religion in the nicest possible manner and to not force religious beliefs on anyone [2].. 

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 3:104, 16:125; [2] 29:46, 41:34, 2:256 .


3. DEAR ABE: There is a verse in the Bible that recognizes the importance of having the woman submit to the husband to an appropriate extent in order to have a smooth and peaceful family life, but where are the rules in the Islamic religion that tell the women that they have to be controlled by not driving, wearing full black body covers, and covering their faces? --JOAN B., KENTUCKY

DEAR JOAN: These rules that you ask about are not found in God’s scripture, the Quran.  Men and women are equal to one another in God’s eyes [1].  God does not impose such restrictions in the Quran; instead it is imposed through rules made by religious leaders, or societies, or some even choose to impose it on themselves.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 3:195.

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The answers provided by Abe and friends represent the understanding of the
writers, and should not be taken as the only acceptable approach. The reader is encouraged to research the topics further using the Quran.

Disclaimer: Abe and friends condemn all acts of violence, suicide bombings, and terrorism enacted under the banner of Islam.

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