Today my local newspaper (the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader) printed an article entitled “Muslim faithful get immersed in festival” (Feb 5). I submitted this letter to the editor in response:

“Thank you for the helpful and positive article on the current Muslim celebrations (‘Muslim faithful get immersed in festival’, February 5). In particular, I was impressed to see that it included a concise explanation of what Muslims believe.

In this age of religious pluralism it is refreshing to see such a clear and balanced representation of a religious position.

Yet, as we present these views it will become apparent that these positions will often disagree with each other in important matters. For example, the Koran states that Jesus was not crucified, a statement in clear disagreement with what the Bible records as history. Thus, it is foolish to suggest that Islam and Christianity are both true.

Notwithstanding, it is a great privilege that in this free, peace-loving democracy we can disagree with each other without fear. For true tolerance protects the right for people to not only hold contradictory truth views, but allows them the freedom to preach them and defend them.

May The Leader continue to show leadership in this vital virtue of true tolerance.”

I’ll let you know if it gets published.