"Here Obama goes a little beyond historic truth and uses mythical concepts to justify his position. He maintains that Islam has always been a tolerant religion. But this is ambiguous: religious freedom is not only a question of tolerance. Tolerance means allowing others to exist, it does not mean freedom of speech, freedom to preach or convert. Then he falls into the trap of myths when he uses the Caliphate of Andalusia and Cordoba a san example of this tolerance, placing it in direct contrast to the Inquisition. This is completely exaggerated myth. First of all the Inquisition was historically after the caliphate, but the affirmation is also wrong in its contents. There was a lot of persecution under the Andalusia Caliphate, of Christians, Jews and even Muslims: Averroè was forced to flee from Cordoba; the same fate for the Hebrew Philosopher Maimonide. He then points to Indonesia where he lived during his childhood. And here there is little to argue about. However the Indonesia of today is less tolerant than it was in the past. Despite this he seems conscious of the fact that steps need to be taken to ensure reciprocal respect. Among situations of difficulty he lists (a little out of place) the Maronites in Lebanon and (with no small measure of courage given that he is in Egypt) the Copts in Egypt. Finally he also cites conflicts between Sunni and Shiites to show that tolerance is needed also among Muslims themselves and not only with Christians.
He then gives some examples of tolerance “American” style. He speaks for example of the zakat, the juridical religious tax in support of other Muslims. But this is a private fact that no-one can impede, and yet he points to it as an important sign of tolerance. Twice or three times he calls in cause the issue of the veil and women’s’ clothing, to say that they have the right to dress as they desire, but this argument seems more aimed at satisfying Muslims, because it is not real issue of religious freedom. Instead the right to believe or not to believe, to be homosexual or not, to convert to another religion, are not addressed. He points to Saudi Arabia as an example of collaboration between religions, but says nothing of the lack of religious freedom in that country." Read the article in full. (For Mr. Obama's Speech click here)
How tolerant Islam is to other faiths? It's really ambiguous.