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In Muslim eyes, Christianity had some truth in it; in Christian eyes, Islam was completely false. Today, the balance of tolerance has dramatically reversed: In the West, freedom of religion allows for people of all faiths to convince others that theirs is the one and only truth; on the other hand, in some Muslim societies, non-Muslims are prosecuted, and promotion of other religions is a punishable offense.
Exact data on the number of converts to Islam in the West is incomplete because conversions are not always recorded.
Former pop star Cat Stevens gave up a highly successful career in music and converted to Islam.He has since opened several Muslim schools in the U. The history of Muslim-Christian relations is to some extent that of two civilizations championing a universalistic message and competing for world domination.In the early phases of this struggle, as demonstrated by Bernard Lewis, Islam was more tolerant: In Muslim lands conquered by Christians, Christianity was imposed by force, and Muslims were sooner or later forced to choose between conversion, exile, and death; in Christian lands conquered by Muslims, Christians were tolerated alongside Jews as "People of the Book." One reason for this difference in attitude was that Muslims considered Christ a precursor while Christians considered Muhammad an impostor.They called upon Muslim immigrants to consider themselves part of a global Muslim nation; to legitimize their presence in non-Muslim lands by acting as ideal Muslims; to build Muslim institutions such as mosques and charity organizations; to serve the political interests of Muslims worldwide; and to proselytize. Writing about the "duties of Muslims living in the West," Egyptian-born Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, perhaps the most influential contemporary Sunni jurist, wrote: Muslims in the West ought to be sincere callers to their religion.They should keep in mind that calling others to Islam is not only restricted to scholars and sheikhs, but it goes far to encompass every committed Muslim. Because [the West] is the enemy whose depth we must penetrate …