16 MARCH 2002, Page 40

Muslims abroad

From Mr S.M. Faroug Ali

Sir: Mr Randhir Singh Bains (Letters, 16 February) is perpetuating a misconception that has been rejected by Islamic scholars when he says that 'There does not seem to be an acceptance in the Muslim ethos of being part of a pluralistic, multidimensional, religio-cultural polity where Islam is not the dominant element.' Muslims have travelled by choice to far-off lands (China in the seventh century, recently to the Americas) and lived there for generations without striving to convert the territory. At present, Muslims live happily in more than 100 countries as minorities. Mr Singh should also know that when the Prophet migrated to Medina because of persecution in Mecca, he established a multicultural community, with a written treaty with Jews and pagans, the basis of the treaty being peaceful co-existence.

S.M. Farouq Ali

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada