Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Do Islam-Bashers Misinterpret the Quran?

Muslims often claim that those of us who talk about the messages of the Quran misinterpret them and as such, we are Islam bashers. To put this issue to rest, I am quoting hereunder two verses from the Quran and ask Muslim readers of this forum to interpret them for our benefit.

2:256: There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

47:4: Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.

Please explain what the above two verses are saying and if their messages are any different from what they appear to give us. Thanks to all who will be helping us clearly understand the above messages of the Quran.

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