Question for Syed Soharwardy: Muslim intention not true in practice?

Letter to the Editor of the Lethbridge Herald:

Re: Herald Nov. 28 story featuring Imam Syed Soharwardy, founder of Muslims Against Terrorism.

Certainly an interesting presentation; give this man credit for standing up against terrorism amongst Muslims. However, I have a question for him, when he says, “Islam does not destroy the places of worship of any religion.”

That intention may be true, but as I am informed, the predominantly Muslim countries do not allow Christians to build their houses of worship, where in the Western democracies Muslims are allowed to build their mosques and worship in them. I am interested to hear comments from this imam.

Hans Visser, Taber

Soharwardy responds in a comment (same link):

Every Muslim country does have churches except Saudi Arabia where a Muslim like me and non-Muslims like you do have restrictions. I explained in my presentation why? Moreover, please keep in my mind the differences between an industrialized educated developed democratic free country like Canada and poor very little educated undemocratic countries. Most of the Muslim countries do not enjoy freedom that we enjoy in Canada. It is not because of religion. It is because of illiteracy, poverty, exploitation dictatorship and corruption.

If you are interested please call me at 1-416-994-5467. We can discuss this further. Thanks

There does not exist a majority Muslim country anywhere in the world where Islam does not reign supreme. As for the illiteracy, poverty, etc.: why are so many Muslim countries afflicted with these problems? The Gulf oil states are wealthy — what is their excuse? And tell us more about the exception of Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, in the past, Islam happily took over churches and converted them to mosques.  Example: Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.