There is a misconception that Muslim countries never grant rights to their Hindu citizens. Some even go to the extent to say that Muslim citizens in India should not demand any rights as the Muslim countries do not give any rights to their Hindu citizens.
What is the truth? Let’s analyze.
Indonesia and Malaysia – sufficient to quash the misconception
Did you know that Indonesia has the largest number of Muslim populations in the world? Did you know that Indonesia which is a Muslim country, also has a sizeable number of Hindu citizens? Yes, 87.2% of Indonesia’s population are Muslims and 1.7% of their population are Hindus. The rest 10.1% belong to other faiths like Buddhism and Christianity. Malaysia is a Muslim country with 61.3% Muslims and 6.3% Hindus.
Did you know that Muslims & Hindus in Malaysia and Indonesia live in peace and harmony? Some of the world’s most beautiful temples are found in Malaysia and Indonesia. The several kilometers long “Thaipusam” festival rally in Malaysia is world famous. “Thaipusam” is also a public holiday in Malaysia. This clearly shows that Muslim countries allow rights and freedom to their non-Muslim citizens.
Ask yourself, have you ever heard of communal riots between Muslims and Hindus in Malaysia or Indonesia? Isn’t this proof that Hindus in these Muslim countries enjoy freedom and live in harmony with the Muslims?
Even Hindus living in Gulf countries like UAE have no restrictions. There is a temple in Dubai and the PM inaugurated the project for Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.
Saudi does NOT represent Islam and nowhere does the Quran ask the Muslims to emulate and follow Saudi. Like how laws of Nepal do not represent the laws of Hinduism, the laws of Saudi do NOT represent Islam.
Saudi has 100% Muslim citizens. In every country, citizens & non-citizens are treated differently. The citizens in the country enjoy more freedom than the non-citizens. For example: In India, can a foreigner purchase a land in his name? Answer is No. Now, is it correct to interpret this law as oppression of freedom?
Since Saudi has 100% Muslim citizens, its policies for non-citizens are different. Even Muslims who are NOT citizens of Saudi CANNOT build Mosques on their own or purchase lands in their names. This is the law of their land and has nothing to do with religion. So, it is incorrect to look at a country like Saudi that has only Muslims (Saudis) as citizens.
Islam on treatment of non-Muslim citizens in Muslim countries
Islam as a faith, allows lot of rights and freedom for the non-Muslim citizens in the state. During the rulership of Prophet Muhammad, Jews had so much freedom that, Prophet Muhammad himself borrowed barley grains from a Jewish citizen of his state.
“God’s Messenger bought some foodstuff (barley) from a Jew on credit and mortgaged his iron armor to him (the armor stands for a guarantor).” (Source: Sahih Bukhari, Book 35, Hadith 453).
This incident speaks volumes about the freedom the non-Muslim citizens enjoy in an Islamic rule. God says in the Quran:
“If God did not repel some people by means of others, many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, where God’s name is much invoked, would have been destroyed. God is sure to help those who help His cause – God is strong and mighty.” Chapter 22: Verse 40.
The verse above clearly shows that Islam does NOT command Muslims to attack the places of worship of non-Muslims and existence of non-Muslim places of worship is allowed in Islamic nations. If any Muslim country like Pakistan or Bangladesh does not treat their Hindu citizens justly and kindly, then they are NOT following the teachings of the Quran.