Does Islam force people to embrace its teachings?
The Qur’anic statement is very clear, and it has a general import. In literal translation we render it: "No compulsion in religion." A more expressive rendering is: "No compulsion is admissible in matters of religion." This certainly applies to beliefs, as belief can only be the result of personal conviction. Therefore, it is totally against Islam to force anyone to accept the Islamic faith. We invite people to accept it, but leave the decision to them, and do not punish them in any way if they choose to follow different faiths. This was the practice of the Islamic State throughout history. If this applies to the basic principle of accepting God’s oneness, it applies even more clearly to matters of lesser importance, such as the implementation of certain Islamic rules. People should obey God’s law because they believe in Him and hope to receive reward from Him.