The essay has analyzed how the Koran position’s Judaism and Christianity and whether this positioning allows any room for pluralism. While it is clear that the Koran identifies and in fact stresses on the close link between these religions and Islam and expects Muslims to show absolute respect for their prophets and their books, there are certain elements which indicate that the Koran leaves little room for pluralism.
One key factor is the absolute stress on monotheism, which is the most important tenant of Muslim beliefs as put forward by the Koran. The Koran does not allow for any deviation from its interpretation of this tenant. Along with criticizing other polytheistic religions and traditions it is also critical of the Christian belief in Trinity, creating a significant hurdle in the prospect of pluralism. However a positive note here is that the Koran does point out certain Christian sects as having retained the true path as revealed by God. This means that perhaps further dialogue between Muslim and Christian intellectuals will help reduce this gap in interpretation of beliefs. Another issue is the Koran’s stress that Islam is the final and most perfect religion and the others have been corrupted by worldly influences. There is actually a similar belief in Judaic customs which implies that they alone know the true path to salvation from God.
The reality is that today there is a great need for inter-religious unity and understanding, but a great deal of dialogue and tolerance of other’s belief is required before this and the ideal of pluralism can achieve.
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