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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English word “infidel” means “a person who does not believe in religion or who adheres to a religion other than one’s own.”

The Arabic word kafir (plural kuffar) is sometimes translated as “infidel”. A more common translation of the word is “disbeliever” or “unbeliever”. In the Qur’an, kafir usually refers to a person who not only rejects the beliefs of Islam but also takes a hostile stance toward Muslims and their religion; it is used primarily to refer to the Meccans who did not accept the adoption of a new religion by their kinsmen and persecuted and fought against the growing Muslim community. In modern Arabic, kafir is often used to mean simply “non-Muslim,” without any negative connotation.

We strongly believe that people of other faiths should be treated with love and respect, affirming the Islamic principle respect for freedom of religion and conscience. According to global Pew polls, strong majorities of Muslims in nearly every country surveyed support the right of non-Muslims to practice their religion freely, a right that was historically upheld by most Muslim societies.

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