Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said,
“So when Allaah سبحانه و تعالى sent His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, most of the people of other religions responded to him and to his Khulafaa رضي الله عنهم after him out of their own freewill and of their own choosing– and he never once forced anyone to enter the religion ever.
Rather he would only fight those who declared war against him and fought him, he never fought or forced to enter the religion those who kept peace with him and had a truce with him, in conformance with the order of his Lord سبحانه where He said:
"There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path." [Soorah al-Baqarah, 2:256]
And this is a negation in the form of a prohibitive order, i.e., ‘Do not force anyone to enter the religion.’
This aayah was revealed concerning some of the Companions رضي الله عنهم who had children who had become Jews or Christians before Islaam, so when Islaam came and the fathers became Muslims they wanted to compel their children to enter it, so Allaah سبحانه forbade them from doing that, such that they themselves should be the ones who choose to enter Islaam.
And it will become clear to whoever ponders the biography of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that he never forced anyone to enter the religion ever, and that he only fought those who fought him. And as for those who made a treaty with him, he did not fight them as long as they stuck to their treaty and did not break their covenant. In fact, Allaah, the Most High, ordered him to be faithful to the treaty between them as long as they upheld it, as He said:
"So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves al-Muttaqeen ." [Soorah at-Tawbah, 9:7]
And when he came to Medinah he made peace with the Jews and acknowledged their religion, so when they waged war against him and broke their covenant with him and initiated fighting [against him], he fought them and so was gracious to some of them, expelled some and killed some.
Likewise when he had a truce with the Quraish for ten years he never initiated any fighting against them until they themselves were the ones who started fighting him and broke their covenant, so it was then that he raided them … and they were the ones who would invade him before that just as they had set out for him on the Day of Uhud and the Day of the Trench and the Day of Badr too. They came to fight him–and if they had turned away he would not have fought them.
The point is that he صلى الله عليه وسلم never ever forced anyone to enter his religion.
Rather people entered his religion out of their own choosing and freewill, so most of the people in the world embraced his call when the guidance became clear to them and when it became clear to them that he truly was the Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah exalt his mention and grant him peace).” 
 "Taqwa" emanates from the root wiqaayah, which means, "he protected," or "to protect." When the word taqwa is used with respect to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى it means that one must fear or protect himself from Allaah's anger and punishment. See: Fear Allaah Wherever you are - http://www.muftisays.com/forums/53-duaas--supplications/7703-fear-allah-wherever-you-are-taqwa.html
 Abridged from Hidaayatul-Hayaaraa fi Ajwibatil-Yahudi wan-Nasaaraa, pp. 29-30