Islam and Multiculturalism

By: Sobhi Rayan  

This paper aims to explain and analyze the concept of cultural difference/ Ikhtilaf in the Qur’ān. Islam introduces a model for human communication between cultures at the levels of individuals and groups. This model is based on human values that guarantee the dignity of man and his human rights. The principle of difference in Islam means the acceptance of the other different person by establishing relations that are based on acquaintance, dialogue, sharing and reciprocity. Difference became an important conceptual tool in the framework of willingness to accept diversity in traditional Muslim societies and has remained an important part of Muslim discourse. The "different" people possess evidence to prove their truths, since "difference" is used in a saying that is based on evidence, and the established truth that is based on this evidence grants its holder moral and logical confidence, thereby making him more open to the others. In addition, evidence indicates the power of argumentative logic and the high degree of the epistemological level of the ones who differentiate. Whereas the concept of difference is based upon rationality and logic, it also carries a moral dimension as a complementary unity, and thus difference turns out to be a fundamental element in the establishment of a civilized creative society.

Islam, Multiculturalism, Pluralism
Religious Commonalities and Differences
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Sobhi Rayan

Lecturer, Islamic Studies, AL Qasemi Academy, Israel