Contrary to the opinion of my father and other believers, I actually try to keep an open mind and see both sides, especially in areas where my knowledge is limited. So, I'm trying to learn more about Islam because I work with Muslims and so far they all seem very nice, decent, hard working people and not a single one has threatened me or tried to do me harm or, for that matter, tried to convert me to their religion. In other words, they are a lot like most of the people I work with and I'd like to understand a little more about their religion and how they can believe and be peaceful while many of their fellow believers use Islam as a philosophical springboard for genocide and hatred.
I recently finished listening to "The Truth About Mohammed." When I finished I felt I'd learned how Islam is used to justify violence and repression around the world, but I also felt like I'd just read a very one sided polemic. What I didn't learn from the book was what made Islam such a popular religion throughout the world and across many different cultures. The author didn't even make an attempt to show any redeeming value to Mohammed's life or the religion he founded.
So I picked up what I knew would be a polemic in the opposite direction, "Islam and World Peace." So far it is pretty typical of a lot of religious writing in that it consists of a sequence of unjustified assertions that probably seem like self-evident truths to the author, but that quite questionable to me.
The gist so far seems to be that the cause of all of the violence in Jerusalem and the rest of the world is unbelievers and that if all of the believing nations of the world would just expel or otherwise get rid of the unbelievers and follow the law of God then the world would be at peace. My interpretation would be that if we would all just accept the truth of Islam then we'd have peace. That makes sense in a certain way but begs the question about how to persuade the unbelievers to believe. Mohammed started out preaching and trying to persuade, but the only thing that ultimately worked for him was warfare and complete intolerance of other religions. So, does that mean that to achieve peace the believers need to declare war on unbelief and destroy or expel all unblievers? Wait, isn't that what the Islamic terrorists are saying? Now I'm confused again. I guess I'll have to keep listening to the rest of the book.