So, one of the big issues for non-Muslims is that they think that we Muslims will convert non-Muslims by force. “Islam was spread by the sword” is a common mistaken belief. Here’s a real quote:
“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut (false idols and all sorts of disbelief) and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 256.
There is no such thing as converting in order to please a leader, a parent, a spouse, or a guy who has a knife at your throat. Islam is not some club or culture. There is no conscription of souls. If a person is not sincere in accepting Islam, then it is merely acting to pretend to accept Islam and then do “Islamic stuff” when he has no belief in his heart.
Any individual who tries to force a person to convert is acting in opposition to Islam. Now, a Muslim leader can compel a person to act in a particular way. For instance, alcohol is forbidden to Muslims. If I were living in Islamistan, there would be no one making wine or whiskey. If a non-Muslim came to town, the ruler could ask him if he has any alcohol on him and compel him to pour it out if he wants to stay. The ruler is not forcing an Islamic belief on the visitor but he is requiring him to observe Islamic norms of behavior while he is in Islamistan. This happens all the time in governments all over the world, whether they are theologically based or not. Behavior is different from belief.
There have always been non-Muslim minorities living in Muslim-majority countries. Today we don’t have any countries that are properly ruled by Islamic Sharia law, but when we did have them, the Christian or Jewish minorities were called dhimmis, and they had rights that could not be taken away by anyone. Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, warned his followers against harshness against them:
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Sunan Abu Dawud).
This article goes into more detail:
I could go on, but I prefer to keep it short and sweet. This is the truth, the Islamic truth. Whatever you see out in the world that is in opposition to this is wrong wrong wrong. Forcing Hindus, Sabians, Yazidis, Christians, Jews, Atheists, or anyone else to convert is forbidden in Islam. Forcing a spouse to convert to Islam is wrong. Forcing your child to convert to Islam is wrong. Only Allah can guide someone and if that does not happen, you can’t pretend it has. Simple.