Freedom of Conscience, Speech and Religion

Freedom of conscience speech and religion

Share This Post

At a time when there should be greater effort to promote understanding and respect for different religions, it seems that the exact opposite is happening.

In Islam, freedom of conscience, speech and religion is a right that must be given to everyone.

Islamic teachings are unique in that they emphasise that every individual has a right to conscience and that no act must involve coercion or force.

And say, ‘It is the truth from your Lord; wherefore, let him who will, believe, and him who will, disbelieve.’ [18:30]

We believe that the right to differ lies at the root of all knowledge and investigation. We must strive to safeguard the right to differ, to question and to dissent. We must at the same time ensure that our differences in every sphere – whether religious, scientific, social or otherwise, should be beneficial and not destructive. Together,  both individually and collectively, we must strive to deepen our consciousness of the duties we owe to each other at all levels.

In Islam, freedom of expression is held in high regard. It is only restrained where the failure to do so would result in harming the cause of truth. Restrictions on freedom of speech and expression necessarily inhibit the discovery of truth and thus degrade humanity. Speech is unseemly or evil when it is obscene, immoral or hurtful. Evil speech interferes with the discovery of truth and thus violates human dignity. Besides this restriction, Islam explains that no individual has the right to inhibit another’s freedom of expression.

“A believer does not taunt, or curse or abuse or talk indecently.”

Islam permits freedom of expression, regardless of faith.

In practice, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) strongly emphasised this right.

In Islam freedom of religion is a fundamental concept. We believe, that freedom of religion not only allows for the freedom to practice one’s faith in accordance with its tenets but also the freedom from being coerced into converting to a particular religion. This concept of freedom of religion was established almost 1400 years ago by the Holy Quran and was upheld by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the early Muslims.

The support for freedom of religion and non-coercion in the Holy Qur’an is as follows:

There should be no compulsion in religion. [2:257]

The Holy Qur’an maintains and upholds the right to freedom of religion, including the right to change one’s religion.

Once the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)  bought a camel from a Bedouin in exchange for about 90 kilos of dried dates. When the Prophet got home, he found that the dates had all disappeared. In all honesty and simplicity, he went to the Bedouin and said quite frankly to him, ‘O man of God! I bought a camel in exchange for dried dates and I thought that I had that much dates with me but when I reached home, I discovered that I did not have that many dates.’The Bedouin said: ‘O defrauder!’The surrounding people began to tell the Bedouin off for talking to the Messenger of God in that manner but the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)  respectfully said: ‘Let him be.‘ (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal Vol.6 p.268 published Beirut)

This standard, whereby Islamic teachings were witnessed in practice, granting freedom of speech to an ordinary man, and ensuring he was given his due rights displayed the great forbearance of the Prophet of Islam.

If the Prophet of Islam can respect an ordinary man’s right to expression, then as Muslims how can we object or go beyond these standards set by him?

We believe that we should intensify and multiply our efforts towards the safeguarding of human rights.

We must all, individually and collectively, strive to deepen our consciousness of the duties we owe to each other at every level.

More To Explore

power of prayer in Islam
Editorial

The Power of Prayer

  Mindfulness and meditation practices seem to be flourishing these days. As of today, there are over 22, 000 research articles on mindfulness in the

the practice of fasting in Islam
Editorial

The Practice of Fasting in Islam

The practice of fasting is an age-old practice that has existed amongst many cultures and religions around the world with variation in traditions, modes, and

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy (“Policy”) describes how the Website Operator (“Website Operator”, “we”, “us” or “our”) collects, protects and uses personally identifiable information (“Personal Information”) you (“User”, “you” or “your”) may provide on the muslimsdownunder1.10web.me website in the course of accessing and using our services (collectively, “Website” or “Services”).

It also describes the choices available to you regarding our use of your Personal Information and how you can access and update this information. This Policy does not apply to the practices of companies/partnerships or otherwise that we do not own or control, or to individuals that we do not employ or manage. The website is directed to users in Australia only.

About the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Assocation (“the Management Association”) promotes social, moral and spiritual well-being. The Management Association is committed to the propogation of the true teachings of Islam through peace and harmony. To promote ‘Love For All and Hatred For None’ and to establish open and honest communication, the Management Association manages and oversees the Muslims Down Under platform (“Muslims Down Under”). Muslims Down Under is an online platform aimed at tackling extremist ideologies and removing misconceptions related to Islam and Muslims.

Automatic collection of information

Our top priority is user data security and, as such, we exercise the no logs policy. We process only minimal user data, only as much as is absolutely necessary to maintain the Website or Services. Information collected automatically is used only to identify potential cases of abuse and establish statistical information regarding Website usage. This statistical information is not otherwise aggregated in such a way that would identify any particular user of the system.

Collection of personal information

You can visit the Website without telling us who you are or revealing any information by which someone could identify you as a specific, identifiable individual. If, however, you wish to use some of the Website’s features, you will be asked to provide certain Personal Information (for example, but not limited to, your name and electronic mail address). We receive and store any information you knowingly provide to us, for example through a blog submission, comment or when you fill in any online forms on the Website. The information collected may include the following:

  • Personal details such as name and country of residence.
  • Contact information such as email address, residential address, and phone numbers.
  • Any other materials you willingly submit to us such as articles, blogs, images, feedback, etc.

You can refuse to provide us with your Personal Information but then you may not be able to take advantage of some of the Website’s features. Users who are uncertain about what information is mandatory are welcome to contact us.

Personal Information and User Comments

The Website offers opportunities to comment and engage in content published. These comments are any actions taken by you that are designed to be visible to other public users. Any information you disclose in comments or other like engagement, along with your screen name and electronic email address, becomes public and may be used by the Website for online or offline promotional use. Should you choose to engage in the comments of the Website you should be aware that any Personal Information you submit can be read, collected and stored by the Website.

The comments that are expressed on blog pages or otherwise, are in no way associated with, or endorsed by, the Website and are held to be the views of the user alone. We are not responsible for the Personal Information you choose to submit in a comment, or otherwise on the Website, and we have no responsibility to publish, take down, remove or edit any of the submissions.

Storing personal information

We will retain and use your Personal Information for the period necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements (“retention period”) unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law. We may use any aggregated data derived from or incorporating your Personal Information after you update or delete it, but not in a manner that would identify you personally. Therefore, the right to access, the right to erasure, the right to rectification and the right to data portability cannot be enforced after the expiration of the retention period.

Use and processing of collected information

In order to make our Website and Services available to you, or to meet a legal obligation, we need to collect and use certain Personal Information. If you do not provide the information that we request, we may not be able to provide you with the requested services. Some of the information we collect is directly from you via our Website. Any of the information we collect from you may be used for the following purposes:

  • Send administrative information
  • Request user feedback
  • Improve user experience
  • Enforce terms and conditions and policies
  • Protect from abuse and malicious users
  • Respond to legal requests and prevent harm
  • Run and operate our Website and Services

Any information collected through webforms will be provided to the Management Association. This information is stored for the purposes as mentioned above and is used only to facilitate further correspondence between you and our platform. As a user you may object to this use but doing so may result in your webform request not being processed.

Processing your Personal Information depends on how you interact with our Website, where you are located in the world and if one of the following applies: (i) You have given your consent for one or more specific purposes; (ii) Provision of information is necessary for the performance of an agreement with you and/or for any pre-contractual obligations thereof; (iii) Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which you are subject; (iv) Processing is related to a task that is carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in us; (v) Processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party.

We will not sell or rent any Personal Information provided to us. Personal Information collected through consent or otherwise will remain in data storage related to this Website only.
Note that legally there is some information we are allowed to process until you object to such processing (by opting out), without having to rely on consent or any other of the following legal bases below. In any case, we will be happy to clarify the specific legal basis that applies to the processing, and in particular whether the provision of Personal Information is a statutory or contractual requirement, or a requirement necessary to enter into a contract.

Information transfer and storage

Depending on your location, data transfers may involve transferring and storing your information in a country other than your own. You are entitled to learn about the legal basis of information transfers to a country outside your own, and about the security measures taken by us to safeguard your information. If any such transfer takes place, you can find out more by checking the relevant sections of this website or inquire with us using the information provided in the contact section.

The rights of users

You may exercise certain rights regarding your information processed by us. In particular, you have the right to do the following: (i) withdraw consent where you have previously given your consent to the processing of your information; (ii) object to the processing of your information if the processing is carried out on a legal basis other than consent; (iii) learn if information is being processed by us, obtain disclosure regarding certain aspects of the processing and obtain a copy of the information undergoing processing; (iv) verify the accuracy of your information and ask for it to be updated or corrected; (v) under certain circumstances, to restrict the processing of your information, in which case, we will not process your information for any purpose other than storing it; (vi) in certain circumstances, to obtain the erasure of your Personal Information from us; (vii) receive your information in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format and, if technically feasible, to have it transmitted to another controller without any hindrance. This provision is applicable provided that your information is processed by automated means and that the processing is based on your consent, on a contract which you are part of or on pre-contractual obligations thereof.

The right to object to processing

Where Personal Information is processed for the public interest, in the exercise of an official authority vested in us or for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by us, you may object to such processing by providing a ground related to your particular situation to justify the objection. You must know that, however, should your Personal Information be processed for direct marketing purposes, you can object to that processing at any time without providing any justification. To learn whether we are processing Personal Information for direct marketing purposes, you may refer to the relevant sections of this document.

How to exercise these rights

Any requests to exercise User rights can be directed to the Owner through the contact details provided on this website. These requests can be exercised free of charge and will be addressed by the Owner as early as possible.

Privacy of children

We do not knowingly collect any Personal Information from children under the age of 13. If you are under the age of 13, please do not submit any Personal Information through our Website or Service. We encourage parents and legal guardians to monitor their children’s Internet usage and to help enforce this Policy by instructing their children never to provide Personal Information through our Website or Service without their permission.
If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 13 has provided Personal Information to us through our Website or Service, please contact us. You must also be at least 18 years of age to consent to the processing of your Personal Information in Australia.

Newsletters

We offer electronic newsletters to which you may voluntarily subscribe at any time. We are committed to keeping your electronic mail address confidential and will not disclose your electronic mail address to any third parties except as allowed in the information use and processing section or for the purposes of utilising a third-party provider to send such emails. We will maintain the information sent via electronic mail in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
You may choose to stop receiving our newsletter or marketing emails by following the unsubscribe instructions included in these emails or by contacting us.

Cookies

The Website uses “cookies” to help personalise your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.
We may use cookies to collect, store, and track information for statistical purposes to operate our Website and Services. You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit internetcookies.org

Do Not Track signals

Some browsers incorporate a Do Not Track feature that signals to websites you visit that you do not want to have your online activity tracked. Tracking is not the same as using or collecting information in connection with a website. For these purposes, tracking refers to collecting personally identifiable information from consumers who use or visit a website or online service as they move across different websites over time. How browsers communicate the Do Not Track signal is not yet uniform. As a result, this Website is not yet set up to interpret or respond to Do Not Track signals communicated by your browser. Even so, as described in more detail throughout this Policy, we limit our use and collection of your personal information.

Links to other websites

Our Website contains links to other websites that are not owned or controlled by us. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other websites or third-parties. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our Website and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that may collect Personal Information.

Information security

We secure information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorised access, use, or disclosure. We maintain reasonable administrative, technical, and physical safeguards in an effort to protect against unauthorised access, use, modification, and disclosure of Personal Information in its control and custody. However, no data transmission over the Internet or wireless network can be guaranteed. Therefore, while we strive to protect your Personal Information, you acknowledge that (i) there are security and privacy limitations of the Internet which are beyond our control; (ii) the security, integrity, and privacy of any and all information and data exchanged between you and our Website cannot be guaranteed; and (iii) any such information and data may be viewed or tampered with in transit by a third-party, despite best efforts.

Data breach

In the event we become aware that there has been unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, or loss of, any Personal Information collected by the Website. We reserve the right to take reasonably appropriate measures, including, but not limited to, investigation and reporting, as well as notification to and cooperation with law enforcement authorities. In the event of a data breach, we will make reasonable efforts to notify affected individuals if we believe that the unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, or loss of, any of the Personal Information is likely to result in serious harm to the user to whom the Personal Information relates to, or if notice is otherwise required by law. When we do, we will post a notice on the Website and send you an electronic mail.

Legal disclosure

We will disclose any information we collect, use or receive if required or permitted by law, such as to comply with a subpoena, or similar legal processes, and when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect your safety or the safety of others, investigate fraud, or to respond to a government request.

Changes and amendments

It is at our discretion to update this Privacy Policy from time to time and will notify you of any material changes to the way in which we treat Personal Information. When changes are made, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page. We may also provide notice to you in other ways at our discretion, such as through contact information you have provided. Any updated version of this Privacy Policy will be effective immediately upon the posting of the revised Privacy Policy unless otherwise specified. Your continued use of the Website or Services after the effective date of the revised Privacy Policy (or such other act specified at that time) will constitute your consent to those changes. However, we will not, without your consent, use your Personal Data in a manner materially different than what was stated at the time your Personal Data was collected. Policy was created with WebsitePolicies.

Acceptance of this policy

You acknowledge that you have read this Policy and agree to all its terms and conditions. By using the Website or its Services you agree to be bound by this Policy. If you do not agree to abide by the terms of this Policy, you are not authorised to use or access the Website and its Services.

Contacting us

If you would like further information about this Policy or wish to contact us concerning any matter relating to individual rights and your Personal Information, you may send an email to managing.editor@muslimsdownunder.com