To understand Islam try reading Jason Pappas at Liberty and Culture.
"What is Islam? First we must distinguish between the ideology, Islam (philosophy) and the demographic group, Muslims (sociology.) As an ideology, Islam is understood by studying the ideas and their origin. Islam is an imperialist supremacist political ideology created by a 7th century warrior who conquered and oppressed. Given its time and place of origin, the ideology is underwritten by a supernatural metaphysics and an epistemology of faith and revelation. Formally, this makes it a religion as well as a political creed."
"The ideology of Islam is understood by the texts (the Koran, Hadith, and Sira), which are either by Mohammad or about him. Mohammad exemplifies the religion. Islam is not difficult to understand. In the early part of his religious career, Mohammad preached tolerance as he sought acceptance in Mecca but became a vicious tyrant as he rose to power in Medina. He culminated his career as a warrior: he plundered, slaughtered, terrorized, and conquered until he extended his power through out the Arabian Peninsula. This included the ethnically-cleansing of Jews from Medina. This, then, is Islam in practice. To say that this example is different than that of Jesus is an absurd understatement.
Some imagine that there are significantly different versions of Islam. We are told that the problem is Salafi Islam; but this is just the original Islam of Mohammad and the first four “rightly guided Caliphs.” What other Islam is there? The mythical Moderate Islam is nowhere to be found. Which books or theologian created such a version? After each terror attack, moderate Islam seems more of a dream while the reality of Jihad expands around the globe.
What, then, can we expect from Islam? While Muslims have been moderate under European colonial rule, the Islamic Revival has brought a return of the original Islam. Given its origin, Islam has severe problems that preclude it from being a suitable candidate for modernization and as a basis for a sustained liberal order. Consequently, Islam will continue to be a threat to civilization as long as it exists.
The key to understanding Islam is to realize that it is a supremacist ideology. This explains why, for jihadist Muslims, the atrocity of 9/11, was a religious experience that reaffirmed Allah’s will that Islam is destined to rule this world, vanquish and humiliate the enemy. Such acts have vast support in the Islamic world, as many have noticed. The root cause of Islamic violence is hard to deny. They mean what they say and we have seen the consequence."
To read the whole article and more, visit Liberty And Culture