People frequently accuse Muslims of coercing people to Islam by asking them to choose from a) a tax (jizya) b) accepting Islam or c) war. What is the reality of this statement?
We must first realise that Islam is a religion of peace. We do not coerce anyone. People have a wrong understanding of the events during the Prophet's (sws) life. These events are based on the principle of Divine judgment (danoonat). According to this principle, a nation is punished if it obstinately refuses the right path after clear proofs and elaboration. Noah's flood, the fate of Sodom and Gomorah are expressions of this principle. Truth was clearly established through the agency of the rasool and the peoples' rebuttal entailed Divine punishment. The military expeditions during the Prophet's (sws) life were the realisation of this Divine punishment. They were devoid of any lust for wealth or personal glory. This law of Divine punishment is applicable to all the rasools.
People absolutely misuse the events to justify oppression in the name of Islam. No innocent can be terrorised into accepting religion.
This question was answered by Mr Ghamidi in Deen-o-Danish, an online TV session hosted by Dr Muneer Ahmad aired on Dunay TV. The text has been rendered into English by Mr Dhu al-Nurain.