At first sight, for Islam to pitch itself as a “tolerant” religion might seem like a positive thing, right?
There are two problems, however. First, in many places and many times, followers of Islam have not been tolerant but oppressive. Second, even when Islam is being “tolerant” it implies a superior position that claims authority but chooses not to enforce it.
This planet needs more than tolerance. It needs mutual respect. The key problem, though, is that Islam does not respect other religions. It views them as inferior and false, needing to be suppressed or forced into submission.
“Keep in mind that the word “tolerance” (or “toleration”) has several meanings, especially in the context of European religious history.
When the Anglican church adopted the position of “toleration”, it meant that it allowed people of some non-Anglican Christian sects to practice their religion, but still considered them second-class citizens who were ineligible for political office.
Thomas Paine wrote about this in The Rights of Man. When you “tolerate” another person, that implies that you’re in a position of superiority over them. It implies that you have authority over them, but have magnanimously chosen not to exercise that authority.”