Prophet Muhammad believed that freedom of religion and civic rights were important components of a “Muslim nation,” according to an analysis of the prophet’s covenants with Christians.
Craig Considine, a lecturer in Rice University’s sociology department, studied “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with Christians” and found that these agreements established freedom of religion and civic rights for Christians living within the “ummah” (Arabic for “community”). He argues that the covenants can be used to develop a stronger democratic partnership between Muslims and Christians in the Islamic world and elsewhere.
His analysis appears in the journal Religions.
“These covenants were designed to protect and even defend peaceful Christian communities, not attack them,” Considine says. “The research clearly shows that contemporary Islamic states that mistreat and discriminate against Christians cannot be justified in light of Prophet Muhammad’s covenants.”