Freedom of Speech in the Quran
By Omid Gul - 15 JULY 2017
The Qur'an advocates freedom of faith:
"No compulsion is there in doctrine." (Qur'an 2:256)
"You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones." (Qur'an 16:125)
The Qur'an advocates freedom of speech:
And it has been sent down to you in the Book, that if you hear the revelations of God being rejected and mocked, then do not sit with them until they move on to a different narrative; if not, then you are like them... (Qur'an 4:140)
And if you encounter those who make fun of Our revelations, then turn away from them until they move on to a different narrative... (Qur'an 6:68)
The two verses above say that if someone mocks or insults the Qur'an, that you simply "do not sit with them" or "turn away from them". That is all the Quran calls for! God does not call for their death, or for them to be harmed. God does not even call for befriending them, or to make them stop, etc. Rather the Quran only says that you should not sit with them. You can then come back to them when they have moved on to a different topic.
Similarly in the verse below, when vain talk is heard, believers should turn away from there and say "To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant":
And when they hear vain talk, they turn away there from and say: "To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant," It is true thou wilt not be able to guide whom thou loves; but God guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance. (Qur'an 28:55-56)
There are no verses in the Qur'an that instruct believers to restrict what people can and can't say, what they can and can't draw, etc.
The Qur'an respects everyone's right to free speech, regardless of how insulting or disrespectful that speech might be. Sadly, the majority of Muslims do not follow the Qur'an. They have instead chosen to follow the man-made texts of Hadith, which contradict the Quran's core message.
"May we think of freedom, not as the right to do what we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right." - Peter Marshall
"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." - Evelyn Beatrice Hall