You may or may not be shocked to learn that it is a myth (which should be pretty obvious when one observes how real Muslims behave in the Middle East, and have for centuries):
The passage means that Islam forbids coercive conversion. But Islam most certainly does not prohibit coercing conformance with sharia. It is sharia (Islamic law), not the desire that everyone become a Muslim, that catalyzes both jihadist terror and the stealthier “dawa” campaign to infiltrate Islamic legal principles into our law and institutions. This should be obvious: Sharia contemplates that there will be non-Muslims — they are a source of revenue because they are taxed for the privilege of living under the protection of the Islamic authority.
The point of sharia, the reason for its palpable elevation of Muslims and reduction of non-Muslims to a lower caste (dhimmitude), is to persuade non-Muslims of the good sense of becoming a Muslim. The idea is that once Allah’s law has been implemented, there will be no need for compulsion in religion (i.e., compulsion to convert to Islam) because it will be crystal clear that Islam is the highest form of life.
Got that? We won’t force you to convert, we’ll just force you to live such a miserable life as an infidel that you’ll decide that conversion might not be all that bad an idea. So, no problem.
And I’d say that this is related to the topic:
To maintain the illusion that they are part of some kind of radical underground, intellectuals must practise a deceit. They can never admit to their audience that fear of violent reprisals, ostracism or crippling financial penalties keeps them away from subjects that ought to concern them – and their fellow citizens.
Although it is impossible to count the books authors have abandoned, radical Islam is probably the greatest cause of self-censorship in the West today. When Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed a fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1989, censorship took the form of outright bans. Frightened publishers would not touch David Caute’s novel satirising the Islamist reaction to The Satanic Verses, for instance. They ran away from histories and plays about the crisis as well because they did not want a repeat of the terror Rushdie and his publishers at Penguin had experienced.
Such overt censorship continues. In 2008, Random House in New York pulled The Jewel of Medina – a slightly syrupy and wholly inoffensive historical romance about Muhammad’s child bride Aisha – after a neurotic professor claimed that it was ‘explosive stuff … a national security issue’. Most of the censorship religious violence inspires, however, is self-censorship. Writers put down their pens and turn to other subjects rather than risk a confrontation. So thoroughgoing is the evasion that when Grayson Perry, who produced what Catholics would consider to be blasphemous images of the Virgin Mary, said what everyone knew to be true in 2007, the media treated his candour as news. ‘The reason I have not gone all out attacking Islamism in my art,’ said Perry, ‘is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.’
We flatter ourselves into believing that we are more liberated than our stuffy ancestors. A sobering corrective to modern self-satisfaction is to realise that an ex-Muslim novelist would never now dare do what Salman Rushdie did with The Satanic Verses and write a book that said the life of Muhammad was less than exemplary. Even if he or she did, no one would dare publish it.
But don’t call them coercive. Remember, it’s a Religion of Peace™. As long as you do what they demand. And by acceding to their demands, we guarantee their continuation.