In response to an article published by the Times of London, in 1951, the 48th Imam of the Ismaili Muslims had written an explainatory reaction. The text below has been shared by Engineer Baig Ali.
“In your leading article of October 22, 1951, you have stated that ‘in the Muslim countries the violent reaction against the West is exaggerated by an Intolerant religion which preaches the duty of shunning foreign influences. This sweeping generalization not only against Muslims but against their faith and Islam itself is both untrue and unfair, and, indeed, shows a lamentable dearth of knowledge regarding Islam and it legal and religious principles, even among leading writers of the leading journals of the West.
“Even a little knowledge of Islam will show that its religion is not only tolerant of other faiths, but most respectful, and indeed fully accepts the divine inspiration of all theistic faiths that came before Islam. It does not only teach tolerance to its followers, but goes a step further and enjoins on them all to create the godly quality of Him, that is, tolerance, forbearance, patience, calmness and forgiveness. It is due to the spirit of tolerance of Islam that even the smallest Christian and Jewish minorities survived and kept all their doctrines during the thousand years of Muslim rule. Nothing like what happened to Muslims in Spain after the Christian conquest has ever happened to a non-Muslim faith in any Islamic dominion.
“How can Europeans be so ignorant as to have forgotten that in the first century of Islam the Khalifas ordered that all that was best in Greek and Roman cultures should be assimilated; that not only the philosophy, medicine, and science of Greece but its poetry and drama were carefully translated into Arabic and were generally sought no only by the learned buy also by the pious?
“In fact, in the interest of the universal unification of mankind the Quran ignores the minor differences and says: ‘Come, let us unite to what is common to us all’, which obviously encourages Muslims to assimilate ideas and even customs from others.
“If there has been violent reaction against the West in some of the Muslim countries, the reason is to be found in the attitude and behavior of the Westerners, their ignorance and want of respect for the faith and culture of Islam, of which the reference to that faith in your leading article is a typical and usual example.
“If the West wants better relationship with the Muslims, the solution lies in their own hands, and this can be done only if they change their mental attitude and cultivate better understanding of the Muslims’ material needs and loyal recognition of the high quality of their national culture and the purity of their faith.”