Many monotheists, including many Muslims, who themselves adhere to certain way of thinking and a certain pattern of behaviour, also believe that all good people have to fit in their frame. Tolerating differences in "others" has not become fundamental in our thinking nor in our faith, where dogma has overshadowed morality and behaviour. Diversity within unity has not yet been recognized as being essential among Muslims and among all human beings. Horrible crimes are committed in the name of religion all over the world: in Northern Ireland, in Bosnia, in Algeria, in the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka and elsewhere. "Ethnic-cleansing" has become a familiar term in the political glossary, and ethnic conflicts cover the whole world; the ethnic mass massacres in Africa, South of The Sahara are just one tragic example. Conflicts resulting from ethnic and religious differences, or born from chauvinistic nationalism and a fanatic following of ideologies, have been happening all through history, and Muslims and monotheists have not been an exception. Furthermore, modern technology and evil growth of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction have contributed to horrible practices aimed at destroying the "others," efforts that would bring with them a total self-destruction of the whole human race.
The "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" issued by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1968, followed by other resolutions of later international conferences in Helsinki, Vienna and Beijing, represent some hope within the thick darkness of the present situation. But the Declaration requires significant organizational reforms and needs a fundamental moral base. Spiritual morality has to be spread through universal and national mass communications and education, and has to be nurtured by all our institutions. Monotheists have to stand together in developing a monotheistic morality among believers in the One God, and morality in general among all people everywhere. Monotheists, especially Muslims and Christians, are present all over the planet and have powerful institutions, while many of them enjoy influential positions. The coordination of their concerted efforts would become a mighty power in safeguarding and reinforcing our era of an essentially pluralistic globalism. Detailed plans and practical applications can definitely be worked out in all circumstances, for the well-known saying always proves to be true: "When there is a will, there is a way."
"Monotheists and The 'Other' - An Islamic Perspective in an Era of Religious Pluralism" - Fathi Osman