CONCEPT OF FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND EXPRESSION FIRST PRINCIPLE OF ISLAM Freedom of thought and expression is all about, or matters only where there are, different view points about the very same thing or action or any issue. The idea is to help people say what they think to each other in a very sensible way and listen to each other with complete patience and due care regarding all issues and matters that are of utmost importance for them because if they do not approach things this way then violence would become and remain dominant and peace will not take place and human progress and prosperity will never come about instead chaos, damage and destruction of humanity will become order of the day because of loss of law and order leverage that is necessary to anchor humanity for stability. The main question is, why must one think and express oneself or bother to share knowledge or be critical of others? It is because the world in which we live is a very small place and whatever any of us believes and does affects others in various ways. In order to prevent harm to humanity and to help it be peaceful to make progress and prosper such an exercise is absolutely vital. In doing so in the light of one’s objectivity if one sees problem with what other people believe and practice, their criticism is inevitable in order to draw their attention to the problematic beliefs and practices or issues to help them see by way of contrast between the two. In other words it is necessary to make things black and white to make the points stand out as clearly as possible or to show what fulfils the purpose and how or what does not and why not. The best examples may be the religious scriptures. For example, in the quran all unislamic beliefs are freely criticised and so are the people who hold them. So you can see that if it was at all possible to ignore this method because it is upsetting for the people on the other side, Allah in the quran would have done so. Since according to the believers of the quran, the quran is the utmost word of wisdom that cannot be superseded so it would not be right for a muslim to be critical of this method. Looking at it in another way, all Allah had to do was to make clear what islam was about and let people decide whether they take it or leave it without criticising beliefs and practices of others. However the quran did not follow this idea. For example, in sura alfaatiha=chapter one, the final verse ends up showing what happened to those who did not follow the way of god. It should have stopped at telling what the good people got from their lord instead. In fact, the quran goes beyond serious criticism and insults those who do not believe it. It is not because they disbelieve in the quran but because they do not bother to take part in the discussions and debates that are absolutely necessary for bringing about a better world. So the quran calls such mentally dead people worse than animals. All because they do not care for themselves and certainly not for others either. For those who may tell me, mind your own business and not be critical of their beliefs, can they see their suggestion runs contrary to interest of humanity? It would seem a double standard if rich and powerful could be critical of poor and weak but not the other way round or if some religions or people could criticised others but did not allow criticism against themselves. Such unfair divides when push comes to shove create infighting and unnecessary animosities and result is loss of peace and damage to life and liberty etc on all sides. In order to prevent such things from happening all who have to say something they must be allowed freedom to vent their views sensibly so that energy is released in a constructive way, because when energy is released in an uncontrolled way it could damages a human society in a very bad way. As for islam, the quran contains clear answer to the question of freedom of thought and expression. For example, the prophet of islam was so desperate to be heard by others. Why? So that he could deliver the message of allah to his people peacefully so that they could live by a better way of life. What is in it for him? One possible answer is that he did not like his people suffering at the hands of each other through petty animosities so he wanted to stop all this carry on. The suffering of his people disturbed him very much. This is his motivation that encourages him to carry on even in the face of strong opposition. In fact the whole muslim nation is on a mission directly or indirectly. The proof is so many muslim propagation centres in the nonmuslim countries through out the world with so many people working in them. Not that the muslims are the only ones but since I am talking about islam and muslims I have to point out certain facts to show that bias, prejudice and unfairness would not be a good start therefore islam is a very straight to the point religion. As it is obvious from this, in islam freedom of thought and expression is the very first brick of its foundation. Freedom of thought and expression or tolerance is not about like minded people talking to each other but about allowing those of opposing views to do so freely. That is because if one person comes up with a better reason, that might make the other person think and come up with an even better reason and so help humanity progress. If any people do not allow this in their forums, tvs, newspapers and other medias, it would only serve to show that people who opposed expression of their points of views are right to oppose them and persecute and prosecute them. Islam strongly opposes such mentality because if muslims are not allowed to deliver the message of peace, love, brotherhood, progress and prosperity to humanity peacefully then many human beings around the world will remain in pain and suffering and islam opposes that. The prophet of islam and his followers were treated this way in makkah and madinah and things turned ugly because of actions and reaction both sides ie one side fighting for freedom of expression and the other opposing it. History has proved that the prophet and his followers were right and other were wrong who opposed them. This fight also tells us where the truth lies and who are the people who value falsehood in order to dominate others to enslave them in various ways to get what they want of them ie users and abusers. The prophet came to free humanity from slavery of each other in the name of god so that people could be free to live like a one single family ie working together for peace, progress and prosperity of all human beings. The major problem is peoples’ wrong beliefs and ideologies which then motivate them to do wrong things in the name of their beliefs and ideologies. This is why the prophet tackled the issue of divide between humanity on both fronts. a)By trying to help people think logically and stop believing in wrong ways of life that lead them to terrible troubles in their own life and go beyond that and effect others also, and b)By opposing the actions of opposers by all means to defend their victims in order to free them from their oppression and suppression as well as their injustices and unfairness. Islam is not about converting people by force but people are free to embrace islam if they like it for themselves being convinced as to what it is all about. This is the context in which the quran attacks wrong beliefs of people and allows others to attack islam if they see anything wrong with it. It is clear to see that if people want a better world for themselves then they must follow the first principle of islam regardless they believe in islam or not ie they must respect freedom of thought and expression otherwise little things could trigger really big consequences at global scale. This is where all thinking people will think it necessary that we judge the situations and circumstances and take remedial actions wherever need be to avoid direct confrontations between opposing forces in which they see their own loss and loss of their loved ones and their suffering. To me it is reason enough to try to discuss the problems with all human beings for whom I have concern, for all human beings are my people and I belong to their family as a member. Even if many cannot think for themselves at least I can think for myself and can try to help them think for themselves so that they too are able to see both sides of the story for themselves. Now if that upsets them then let it be so, for if I give up the worse is inevitable because as things stand we are between the rock and a hard place. In a way I too am a missionary like any other human being trying to share my experiences with others as to the ups and downs in life and what the causes might be. Here is how the prophet felt about his people. The quranic verses as references are to follow. 006.033 YUSUFALI: We know indeed the grief which their words do cause thee: It is not thee they reject: it is the signs of Allah, which the wicked contemn. 006.035 YUSUFALI: If their spurning is hard on thy mind, yet if thou wert able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder to the skies and bring them a sign,- (what good?). If it were Allah's will, He could gather them together unto true guidance: so be not thou amongst those who are swayed by ignorance (and impatience)! Here are some verses that clearly support freedom of thought and expression. 019.088 YUSUFALI: They say: "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!" 019.089 YUSUFALI: Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! 019.090 YUSUFALI: At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, 019.091 YUSUFALI: That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. 019.092 YUSUFALI: For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. 005.072 YUSUFALI: They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. 005.073 YUSUFALI: They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them. 009.030 YUSUFALI: The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! 009.031 YUSUFALI: They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him). In these like verses anger of allah is very clear as to what nonmuslims believe and do and like above verses the quran contain many verses against polytheism as well. Yet allah orders muslims to protect places of worship of these people which means protection of these people despite their such beliefs and their expressions of their such beliefs in the open. Muslims are even told to go to war if it comes to protection of freedom of thought and expression. 022.040 YUSUFALI: (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will). 02.193 YUSUFALI: And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression. 002.194 YUSUFALI: The prohibited month for the prohibited month,- and so for all things prohibited,- there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, Transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves. 002.217 YUSUFALI: They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein. 29.024 YUSUFALI: So naught was the answer of (Abraham's) people except that they said: "Slay him or burn him." But Allah did save him from the Fire. Verily in this are Signs for people who believe. So concern for humanity is clear in the quran as explained and so is the need for promoting freedom of thought and expression. This is why open discussions are necessary so that people could become well informed and are able to make informed choices instead of suggestions that people should not impart their thoughts. It is time we helped each other educate ourselves by way of such exchanges. Here is a sample from the quran of criticism of nonmuslims and their beliefs for reason of giving base to humanity to unite on commonly acceptable principles that are of benefit for all in opposition ideologies and beliefs that promote dangerous divisions thereby killings of each other. This also explains the concept of islam means peace ie why and how? I would like to stress that the translation I am using is not accurate but it will do for now. It is difficult to find a really good translation. 001.007 YUSUFALI: The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray. (these people got the wrath because of what they believed and did to each other) 002.006 YUSUFALI: As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. (What it means is that such of people who oppose principles of human decency, they will not accept islam because it promote those principles ie family values and rules which force people to live for each other like brothers and sisters and not against each other like masters and slaves). Once a people have a mindset they are difficult to convince otherwise because they stop listening to opposite views. 002.007 YUSUFALI: Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur). (this does not mean allah deliberately did this but let it be so as they want it ie it is their choice that is allowed go ahead by allah) 002.008 YUSUFALI: Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day;" but they do not (really) believe. 002.009 YUSUFALI: Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realise (it) not! 002.010 YUSUFALI: In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves). (this disease is their want of being masters of others so that they could use and abuse them at will, therefore they try to derail the Islamic movement or cause of islam or the prophet by accepting islam outwardly in order to do damage to muslims ie they conspire against islam and muslims for their own ends ie they try to become enemies from within) 002.011 YUSUFALI: When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only Want to make peace!" (ie they want peace on their terms which are unfair and cruel and because they see islam succeed they try their various tricks on muslims in the hope of succeeding one day) 002.012 YUSUFALI: Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not. 002.013 YUSUFALI: When it is said to them: "Believe as the others believe:" They say: "Shall we believe as the fools believe?" Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know. (They are trying to say that living for others is useless because what do you get out of it for yourself, so you are a fool). 002.014 YUSUFALI: When they meet those who believe, they say: "We believe;" but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: "We are really with you: We (were) only jesting." 002.015 YUSUFALI: Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them rope in their trespasses; so they will wander like blind ones (To and fro). 002.016 YUSUFALI: These are they who have bartered Guidance for error: But their traffic is profitless, and they have lost true direction, 002.017 YUSUFALI: Their similitude is that of a man who kindled a fire; when it lighted all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in utter darkness. So they could not see. 002.018 YUSUFALI: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the path). 002.019 YUSUFALI: Or (another similitude) is that of a rain-laden cloud from the sky: In it are zones of darkness, and thunder and lightning: They press their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunder-clap, the while they are in terror of death. But Allah is ever round the rejecters of Faith! 002.020 YUSUFALI: The lightning all but snatches away their sight; every time the light (Helps) them, they walk therein, and when the darkness grows on them, they stand still. And if Allah willed, He could take away their faculty of hearing and seeing; for Allah hath power over all things. 002.113 YUSUFALI: The Jews say: "The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: "The Jews have naught (To stand) upon." Yet they (Profess to) study the (same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but Allah will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment. 002.146 YUSUFALI: The people of the Book know this as they know their own sons; but some of them conceal the truth which they themselves know. 002.174 YUSUFALI: Those who conceal Allah's revelations in the Book, and purchase for them a miserable profit,- they swallow into themselves naught but Fire; Allah will not address them on the Day of Resurrection. Nor purify them: Grievous will be their penalty. 002.170 YUSUFALI: When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah hath revealed:" They say: "Nay! we shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers Were void of wisdom and guidance? 002.171 YUSUFALI: The parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout Like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom. 005.060 YUSUFALI: Say: "Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!" 006.025 YUSUFALI: Of them there are some who (pretend to) listen to thee; but We have thrown veils on their hearts, So they understand it not, and deafness in their ears; if they saw every one of the signs, not they will believe in them; in so much that when they come to thee, they (but) dispute with thee; the Unbelievers say: "These are nothing but tales of the ancients." 006.026 YUSUFALI: Others they keep away from it, and themselves they keep away; but they only destroy their own souls, and they perceive it not. 006.027 YUSUFALI: If thou couldst but see when they are confronted with the Fire! They will say: "Would that we were but sent back! Then would we not reject the signs of our Lord, but would be amongst those who believe!" 006.028 YUSUFALI: Yea, in their own (eyes) will become manifest what before they concealed. But if they were returned, they would certainly relapse to the things they were forbidden, for they are indeed liars. 006.031 YUSUFALI: Lost indeed are they who treat it as a falsehood that they must meet Allah,- until on a sudden the hour is on them, and they say: "Ah! woe unto us that we took no thought of it"; for they bear their burdens on their backs, and evil indeed are the burdens that they bear? 006.033 YUSUFALI: We know indeed the grief which their words do cause thee: It is not thee they reject: it is the signs of Allah, which the wicked contemn. 006.035 YUSUFALI: If their spurning is hard on thy mind, yet if thou wert able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder to the skies and bring them a sign,- (what good?). If it were Allah's will, He could gather them together unto true guidance: so be not thou amongst those who are swayed by ignorance (and impatience)! 006.039 YUSUFALI: Those who reject our signs are deaf and dumb,- in the midst of darkness profound: whom Allah willeth, He leaveth to wander: whom He willeth, He placeth on the way that is straight. 006.040 YUSUFALI: Say: "Think ye to yourselves, if there come upon you the wrath of Allah, or the Hour (that ye dread), would ye then call upon other than Allah?- (reply) if ye are truthful! 006.041 YUSUFALI: "Nay,- On Him would ye call, and if it be His will, He would remove (the distress) which occasioned your call upon Him, and ye would forget (the false gods) which ye join with Him!" 006.044 YUSUFALI: But when they forgot the warning they had received, We opened to them the gates of all (good) things, until, in the midst of their enjoyment of Our gifts, on a sudden, We called them to account, when lo! they were plunged in despair! 006.045 YUSUFALI: Of the wrong-doers the last remnant was cut off. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds. 006.046 YUSUFALI: Say: "Think ye, if Allah took away your hearing and your sight, and sealed up your hearts, who - a god other than Allah - could restore them to you?" See how We explain the signs by various (symbols); yet they turn aside. 006.048 YUSUFALI: We send the messengers only to give good news and to warn: so those who believe and mend (their lives),- upon them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. 006.049 YUSUFALI: But those who reject our signs,- them shall punishment touch, for that they ceased not from transgressing. 007.176 YUSUFALI: If it had been Our will, We should have elevated him with Our signs; but he inclined to the earth, and followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog: if you attack him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject Our signs; So relate the story; perchance they may reflect. 007.177 YUSUFALI: Evil as an example are people who reject Our signs and wrong their own souls. 007.179 YUSUFALI: Many are the Jinns and men we have made for Hell: They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle,- nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning). 007.180 YUSUFALI: The most beautiful names belong to Allah: so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they do, they will soon be requited. 007.181 YUSUFALI: Of those We have created are people who direct (others) with truth. And dispense justice therewith. 007.182 YUSUFALI: Those who reject Our signs, We shall gradually visit with punishment, in ways they perceive not; 007.191 YUSUFALI: Do they indeed ascribe to Him as partners things that can create nothing, but are themselves created? 007.192 YUSUFALI: No aid can they give them, nor can they aid themselves! 007.194 YUSUFALI: Verily those whom ye call upon besides Allah are servants like unto you: Call upon them, and let them listen to your prayer, if ye are (indeed) truthful! 007.195 YUSUFALI: Have they feet to walk with? Or hands to lay hold with? Or eyes to see with? Or ears to hear with? Say: "Call your 'god-partners', scheme (your worst) against me, and give me no respite! 007.204 YUSUFALI: When the Qur'an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that ye may receive Mercy. 008.055 YUSUFALI: For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are those who reject Him: They will not believe. 009.028 YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-wise. 009.029 YUSUFALI: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. 009.030 YUSUFALI: The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! 009.031 YUSUFALI: They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him). 009.032 YUSUFALI: Fain would they extinguish Allah's light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it). 009.033 YUSUFALI: It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it). 009.034 YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah: announce unto them a most grievous penalty- 009.035 YUSUFALI: On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, their flanks, and their backs.- "This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the (treasures) ye buried!" 021.052 YUSUFALI: Behold! he said to his father and his people, "What are these images, to which ye are (so assiduously) devoted?" 021.053 YUSUFALI: They said, "We found our fathers worshipping them." 021.054 YUSUFALI: He said, "Indeed ye have been in manifest error - ye and your fathers." 021.055 YUSUFALI: They said, "Have you brought us the Truth, or are you one of those who jest?" 021.056 YUSUFALI: He said, "Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, He Who created them (from nothing): and I am a witness to this (Truth). 021.057 YUSUFALI: "And by Allah, I have a plan for your idols - after ye go away and turn your backs".. 021.058 YUSUFALI: So he broke them to pieces, (all) but the biggest of them, that they might turn (and address themselves) to it. 021.059 YUSUFALI: They said, "Who has done this to our gods? He must indeed be some man of impiety!" 022.046 YUSUFALI: Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts. 022.073 YUSUFALI: O men! Here is a parable set forth! listen to it! Those on whom, besides Allah, ye call, cannot create (even) a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! and if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition! 025.044 YUSUFALI: Or thinkest thou that most of them listen or understand? They are only like cattle;- nay, they are worse astray in Path. 027.020 YUSUFALI: And he totookok a muster of the Birds; and he said: "Why is it I see not the Hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? 027.021 YUSUFALI: "I will certainly punish him with a severe penalty, or execute him, unless he bring me a clear reason (for absence)." 027.022 YUSUFALI: But the Hoopoe tarried not far: he (came up and) said: "I have compassed (territory) which thou hast not compassed, and I have come to thee from Saba with tidings true. 027.023 YUSUFALI: "I found (there) a woman ruling over them and provided with every requisite; and she has a magnificent throne. 027.024 YUSUFALI: "I found her and her people worshipping the sun besides Allah: Satan has made their deeds seem pleasing in their eyes, and has kept them away from the Path,- so they receive no guidance,- 027.025 YUSUFALI: "(Kept them away from the Path), that they should not worship Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what ye hide and what ye reveal. 027.026 YUSUFALI: "Allah!- there is no god but He!- Lord of the Throne Supreme!" 027.027 YUSUFALI: (Solomon) said: "Soon shall we see whether thou hast told the truth or lied! 027.028 YUSUFALI: "Go thou, with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them: then draw back from them, and (wait to) see what answer they return"... 027.029 YUSUFALI: (The queen) said: "Ye chiefs! here is delivered to me - a letter worthy of respect. 027.030 YUSUFALI: "It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): 'In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: 027.031 YUSUFALI: "'Be ye not arrogant against me, but come to me in submission (to the true Religion).'" 027.032 YUSUFALI: She said: "Ye chiefs! advise me in (this) my affair: no affair have I decided except in your presence." 027.033 YUSUFALI: They said: "We are endued with strength, and given to vehement war: but the command is with thee; so consider what thou wilt command." 027.034 YUSUFALI: She said: "Kings, when they enter a country, despoil it, and make the noblest of its people its meanest thus do they behave. 027.035 YUSUFALI: "But I am going to send him a present, and (wait) to see with what (answer) return (my) ambassadors." 027.036 YUSUFALI: Now when (the embassy) came to Solomon, he said: "Will ye give me abundance in wealth? But that which Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay it is ye who rejoice in your gift! 027.037 YUSUFALI: "Go back to them, and be sure we shall come to them with such hosts as they will never be able to meet: We shall expel them from there in disgrace, and they will feel humbled (indeed)." 031.019 YUSUFALI: "And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass." 047.014 YUSUFALI: Is then one who is on a clear (Path) from his Lord, no better than one to whom the evil of his conduct seems pleasing, and such as follow their own lusts? 062.005 YUSUFALI: The similitude of those who were charged with the (obligations of the) Mosaic Law, but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is that of a donkey which carries huge tomes (but understands them not). Evil is the similitude of people who falsify the Signs of Allah: and Allah guides not people who do wrong. 063.004 YUSUFALI: When thou lookest at them, their exteriors please thee; and when they speak, thou listenest to their words. They are as (worthless as hollow) pieces of timber propped up, (unable to stand on their own). They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies; so beware of One should be able to see very clearly from the above verses what islam is all about ie concern for humanity. It is because allah so loved the world that he created and placed therein humans and sent his message for their guidance to help them live a good life in the hope of hereafter. This message need delivery no matter what hence the need for freedom of thought and expression as the very starting point. Finally imagine that if one people did not let the others talk where they are in control then sooner or later the others may also do the very same where they are in control, the result, they all will be sitting with their mouths shut giving each other a strange look. What a wonderful world that will be? So let us work to increase freedom not curtail it.