Adopted from an article in citizenwarrior.com
1. Islam is about Muslims – no, Islam is about everyone. Islam has rules about everything, and that includes non-Muslims. 61% of the Koran is about non-Muslims. It has rules about whether or not Muslims should befriend non-Muslims; about how to treat non-Muslims captured in war; about whether non-Muslim women can be raped; the attitude to take towards the possessions of non-Muslims. It literally controls the kind of relations - be it social or political - that should exist between Muslim and non-Muslims. Most of these rules are unfavourable or hostile toward non-Muslims.
2. Islam is a religion – there is a theme of personal salvation within Islam which gives it some similarities to other religions. However, this is not the main part of Islam. It is mainly a political and legal system with rules concerning the conduct of every imaginable subject from warfare to wiping your bottom. It is both highly political and very personal which may help to explain its huge capacity for taking offence. In a society concerned about discriminating against people on the basis of religion, the religious dimension of Islam can be exploited for political gain.
3. The word “Islam” means “peace” – actually, “Islam” means “submission”. The basic idea is that perfect submission to the will of Allah brings peace. How do Muslims know the will of Allah? By studying what Muhammad said and did. What did Muhammad say and do? He brought new lands under the control of Islam and told his followers to do the same. So Muslims bring new lands under the control of Islam. When the whole world submits to the will of Allah, there will be “peace”, as Islam defines it.
In the past, Islam conquered new lands by following Muhammad’s example of military conquest. Today, this is less feasible so Islam follows Muhammad’s example of migration (al-Hijra). This is a 3 step process: (a) migrate (b) multiply (c) dominate. (b) is achieved by new arrivals, having large families, and converting the host population. (c) is achieved by subversion, increasing intimidation, then revolution. (a), (b) and (c) are mutually reinforcing. For example, the power achieved through (b) and (c) can be used to block controls on (a) migration.
4. Because most Muslims are not violent it must mean that Islam is not violent
The perception that most Muslims are not violent will depend on where you live. In those countries where Muslims are more dominant, they tend to be more aggressive. As a rule of thumb, where Muslims are a minority they are less violent. This goes back to the birth of Islam: when Muhammad had a small band of followers in Mecca, the message he gave them was peaceful and tolerant (“Let there be no compulsion in religion” is a favourite from this period); when he migrated to Medina and established dominance he and his followers became more violent (“Kill the unbelievers wherever ye find them” is a favourite from this period). The message he taught after migrating to Medina is saturated with violence. The principle here is that when Muslims are in a weak position, the Meccan message is uppermost; when they are dominant, the Medinan message is unleashed.
In effect, Islam is both violent and tolerant: when circumstances dictate, it is driven by the Meccan message; but, when circumstances allow, it switches to the Medinan message. Being a “good” Muslim and doing what’s right for Islam will change accordingly.
5. The best person to ask about Islam is a Muslim
About 90% of Muslims know very little about Islam. Most Muslims do not study Islam for themselves; they get their opinions ready-made from their leaders and from sermons of mullahs in mosques. They don’t have an in-depth knowledge especially about their Prophet. Many Muslims are also in denial about the real nature of Islam. But they are completely aware of ultimate Islamic objective, in obedience to Allah, is world under Islamic law. Coming to believe that Koran is literal word from Allah, they think there is nothing wrong with it, in fact it is beneficial to humanity.
Given what has been said about the Meccan and the Medinan messages, how do you know which message your Muslim is familiar with? And, if your Muslim knows the Medinan message is he/she going to tell you? There is a longstanding principle of using deception to protect the faith and the faithful in Islam which, as with all things Islamic, goes back to Muhammad’s own example.
Original article can be read from here.