The media has done a lot to demonize Islam and create hatred between Christians and Muslims. When you consider that the purpose of religion should be to bring peace, when war and hatred replace love in the name of religion, it should really make the thinking mind wonder.
The American Muslim leader, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed said,
"When we read the Qur'an and Bible with proper understanding, we can clearly see that these great religious leaders were not divided one against the other. Jesus not only supported the scripture that Moses taught, but he interpreted it and explained it so that the people could get more light on what Moses had taught them. When Prophet Muhammad of Arabia came behind Jesus, he did the same thing. He spoke from the scriptures that Jesus had left and he explained and interpreted what Jesus left. If our great heroes in religion have not divided themselves one against the other, and if they have shown us that they belonged to one unified family, why are we divided?"
Obviously the message that each religious leader brought supported each other from Moses to Jesus and to Muhammad. But the history of the followers of these religions have not been peaceful. Today Islam is being accused of the worst things. Along with that, Qur'anic verses are being deliberately taken out of context and misquoted to give the impression of endorsing war and the source for terrorist actions. These misquotes, out of context remarks and mis-translations do not in any way accurately reflect what Islam teaches.
I will list some accusations made against Islam (indeed there are many) by leading Christians and Christian Zionists starting with the most recent remarks from The Pope and then I will respond:
“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached'." Pope Benedict XVI quotes Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II.
“Islam is simply "a religion of war." You may protest that your Islamic neighbor down the street could not possibly be a threat. Free Congress says you should bear in mind that "there are lax Islamics.” Or to put it another way, the peaceful individual Muslims are out of step with their religion. They are outsiders looking in.” Statement by the Free Congress.
Franklin Graham, fundamentalist preacher son of Billy Graham, pronounced on NBC Nightly News November 16, 2001:
"The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It is a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."
"Islam is not a peaceful religion that wants to coexist. They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and then, if need be, destroy."
Nobel literature prize winner Elias Cannetti has defined Islam as:
"a religion of war – literally a killer belief." "Islam has made war on Christendom and Christians since it first swept out of Arabia to conquer much of the Christian Mediterranean world."
Ann Coulter boldly wrote that the US should conquer the entire Muslim world and convert them to Christianity. She pronounced these words of war and conquest with no criticism or outcry by “turn the other cheek” Christians. In fact she is loved and encouraged by them.
Conservative Baptist Evangelist, Jerry Falwell, in an interview on the CBS news program 60 Minutes (October 6, 2002) said," I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, (to know) that he was a - a violent man, a man of war".
Not to be outdone by the Christians and fueling the flames of hatred, especially Muslim-Christian hatred, have been leaders amongst the Jews. Israel now enjoys major support and major endorsement by more than 30 million Christian Zionists and Evangelicals who believe that Islam is their enemy and that they must support Israel against Muslims.
In their fundamentalist vision of the world, the Evangelicals see supporting Israel , right or wrong, as the best way to fulfill -- and even speed up -- the Bible's doomsday plan for the world. The founding of Israel in 1948 was the first step in the Biblically-mandated series of events leading to Armageddon and the return of Jesus. They are preparing for a period of extreme violence costing millions of lives including many Jews. Those who remain will embrace Jesus as Savior.
The Israelis are enjoying this because despite the Christians claim to a future beneficial outcome for Christians, the Israelis are reaping the benefits TODAY of strong Christian support against their enemies. They have even predicted a future Christian crusade against Muslims as in the following statement:
"Within a few years a Christian crusade against Islam will be launched, which will be the major event of this millennium...” Benny Elon, Israeli Tourism Minister and high level envoy.
At the same time many in the leadership of Judaism don’t see the world of Christianity as a threat. They view the Christian world as a civilization that has already been conquered with their only remaining challenge being the Muslim world. This is reflected in the following statement:
“The Jews are not a nation, neither a religion,” he said. “They are a civilization, and they have their civilizing mission. They cannot tolerate the competing civilization of Islam, as they could not tolerate Christendom or Communism. That is why the war with Islam is unavoidable.” Yehuda Bauer, director of the Holocaust Memorial Institute Yad va-Shem in Jerusalem
The turmoil brought on by hatred and wars between Christians and Muslims works well for these Jews. Without lifting a finger they gleefully enjoy how the Christian Zionists are fighting Muslims for them. Through the ownership of the world's media they also help in the propaganda war against Islam by painting it to be a religion of violence and terrorism.
In response to these charges and which religion is the religion of violence and war, I would like to mention that "people who live in glass houses should never throw stones."
In response to these charges and which religion is the religion of violence and war, I would like to mention that "people who live in glass houses should never throw stones."
It was not Muslims who went to Christian lands to wage 8 successive Crusades to take their land away from them as directed by their Islamic leaders as Christians were, following the direction of their Popes.
It was not Islam whose leadership claimed that the purpose for the first crusade was (1) to rescue their brothers of the faith in the East from Muslim hordes and (2) liberate Jerusalem. But lo and behold then by the second crusade their Christian brothers in the East – who supposedly needed rescuing from the Muslims – joined the Muslims to fight against the crusaders due to the savage, barbarous and cruel behavior of their “rescuers”.
It was not Islam that went conquering people all over the world and colonizing them as Christians did forcing defenseless people to embrace Christianity after being militarily defeated by the more powerful Christian armies of Europe . These actions are being repeated in this time with the military conquest of Iraq by America and Britain only to be followed by enthusiastic Christian Zionists seeking to convert Muslims to Christianity. "The opportunity for broadcast expansion in post-war Iraq is phenomenal," enthused Don Black, Vice President of In Touch Ministries in Atlanta , in an interview with the web site Salon. Samaritan's Purse, a relief headed by Franklin Graham, is another group planning to proselytize the people of Iraq . All these groups are doing it under the guise of providing aid to the Iraqi people. Of course this is strongly encouraged and supported by the Bush administration which claims “it's not the administration's responsibility to determine which groups can provide aid to Iraq.”
It was not Islam, whose Holy Book teaches “make no graven images” yet portrays the son of God as a Caucasian crucified savior on a cross for all the races in the world to worship. Then to also portray his virgin mother, apostles, and all the saints as Caucasians, belonging to the ‘divine white race’ for all to revere and love. This fostering of white supremacy in religious form caused Caucasians to feel superior over the non-white ‘un-Godly’ races thereby justifying the colonization and subjugation of other human beings. As a result of worshiping a Caucasian-looking God, it caused non-white races to feel inferior and Caucasians to feel superior, bringing about serious racial inferiority complexes among the non-white races and inspiring the rise of cruel inhumane organizations like the Ku Klux Klan, that committed lynching, murders and other racial atrocities.
It was not Islam that encouraged the slave trade in Africa declaring it was OK because the heathen Africans were having their souls saved by being converted to Christianity. It was not Islam that cursed a whole race of people and described them as inferior, children of Ham because of the color of their skin. Then to add further humiliation and deepen racial tensions have this story embellished showing ridiculous origins of African features as done by Rabbis in the Jewish Talmud.
It was not Islam which caused the decimation of over 50% of the population of the Congo as was done by the Belgian Christian King Leopold (11 million massacred out of a population of 20 million).
It was not Islam that attempted to Frenchify Algeria at the cost of over a million Algerians (which at the time represented over 10% of the population) as Christians from France did to this defenseless country in Africa .
It was not an Islamic nation that uttered the arrogant and conquering statement "the sun never sets on the British Empire " as was done by a leading conquering Christian nation.
It was not Islam which dominated and conquered the world, not as a result of superior ideas and excellent examples of humanity, but as a result of superior weapons of war possessed by Christian nations used against weaker nations, as we see being done by Christian America today against Iraq and Afghanistan, and tomorrow against Iran, Syria and other Muslim countries.
It was not Islam whose history is mired with constant cycles of vicious wars and hostility as experienced for Centuries by the Christian nations of France , England , Spain , Portugal, Germany , Russia and others.
It was not Islam that went to the Far East and conquered Asians and as part of the Asians’ humiliation and subjugation introduced addictive drugs into their societies, forcing those countries to fight Opium wars to free themselves from Christian tyranny.
It was not Islam that caused the misery, suffering and whole scale deaths of millions with mass destruction of cities like the Christian nations did in WWI and WWII. During one night on February 13, 1945, the allied armies -- Britain and US -- bombed the city of Dresden in Germany, and it is estimated that as many as 350,000 - 600,000 victims were incinerated beyond being identifiable or even recognizable as human remains in that Holocaust. Only 35,000 could be identified. Then the Christians culminated this death and destruction by dropping atomic bombs on Japanese cities killing an estimated 115,000 victims, and many later with radiation sickness, disfigurement and permanent damage to thousands of innocent people.
It was not Islam that persecuted and murdered thinkers and scientists, like Galileo, Copernicus and the great female scientist Hypatia in the worst way because they dared to state their scientific findings that differed from Catholicism. It was not Islam that defied scientific facts and insisted for years that the universe was Geo-centric rather than Helio-centric simply because Muhammad lived on earth as Christians did with Christ and persecuted anyone who dared to say different. During the recent invasion and occupation of Iraq , US occupation forces detained more than 600 top Iraqi scientists, whose fate is totally unknown. Before this invasion, an American scientist, David Albright, wrote an article " IRAQ : Resettle the Scientists," in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (page 17, Jan/Feb 1998) foretelling the US plans.
It was not Islam that kept its followers in perpetual ignorance, superstition and barbaric filth during a period of time known as the Dark Ages. It was not Islam that allowed its people to live in the most un-hygienic ways, discouraging cleanliness and baths and causing them to suffer Bubonic Plagues and other life-threatening diseases for centuries. This Bubonic Plague was responsible for decimating 25% of the European population at that time which was approximately 137 million people.
It was not Islam that instituted the Inquisition that punished millions of "heretics" for several centuries who did not go along with the official version of Christianity with imprisonment, torture and death. Then in the 1500’s, the Christian Spaniards brought the Inquisition to the Americas demanding instant conversion by the Indians and death to any Indian daring to refuse.
It was not Islam that caused people to flee religious persecutions as Christianity did in Europe causing Europeans to find and establish religious freedom in a new land. Then due to the horrible, inhumane experience with Christianity the country formed in the new world said “never again”. Never again would we let the ignorance and cruelties of the Christian religion rule our government. We insist and we legislate that there will always be a separation of church and state!
It was not Islam that encouraged the ethnic cleansing of Native American Indians and ruthless theft of their lands as done by Christians from England , France and Spain . The number of deaths caused by European Christians on poor hapless American Indians was upwards of 250 million.
It is not Islam whose countries are decaying from within because of high crime rates, immorality, corrupt leaders, high divorce rates, social unrest, rampant accepted homosexuality like in Sodom and Gomorrah , destruction of the family, extreme selfishness, greed and other ills that plague Christian nations today.
It is not Islam which has championed the cause of another people's religion identifying them as "God's chosen people" and then provided the means for these people to steal Palestine and ethnically cleanse innocent Palestinians including fellow Christians. The war crimes committed, barbarism, cruel and inhumane treatment of Palestinians and the Israelis’ in brazen defiance of UN resolutions are rewarded by the most powerful Christian nation in the world with free money, undying support and special consideration.
It is not an Islamic nation that has imposed sanctions on another nation that has caused deaths of mainly innocent children in the range of 4000-5000 per month. Then to add insult to injury threaten and attack that nation – killing more than 2,000,000 CIVILIANS -- on false pretense causing millions more to live in squalor and misery as the great Christian nation of America is doing to Iraq. Now that the WMD claim for attacking Iraq proves to be false, this Christian nation changes the rules and claims that the WMD reason to attack Iraq does not matter.
It was not an Islamic nation that has brutally massacred more than 1,000,000 innocent Afghans and threw the Geneva Convention out the window in their inhumane, barbaric treatment of Afghan prisoners as the great Christian nation of America has in its false war on terrorism against Afghanistan . While the world, including Islamic nations, mourned the innocent deaths of about 3000 Americans on 911, the great Christian nation of America degrades the dignity of human beings by describing the innocent Afghans killed as collateral damage.
It is not an Islamic nation that already has a plan mapped out known as A Project for the New American Century (PNAC) whose National Security Strategy - promulgated as late as September 2002 - now includes pre-emptive attacks on possible future competitors first, assuming regional hegemony by force of arms in the Middle East, controlling energy resources around the globe, maintaining a permanent war strategy, and more as Christian America does. It is easy to surmise that Christian America is after oil, but not one of the Muslim nations, not even Iraq , has denied America the purchase of its oil. The Christian nation of America does not care. It is bent on pursuing a warlike imperial foreign policy and is chomping at the bit to attack Iran next.
Need I say more? I could go on and on.
While the Zionists and Christian Zionists write and talk about Islam being warlike, the above information proves that Christians are the ones who are truly warlike. More evil has been committed in the name of Christianity than has been committed by any other religion in human history. Their history has been one of a people who have “the mark of the beast” in their hands or actions. But the elite Jews who are rejoicing and reaping the benefits of the turmoil caused by Christians are the ones with the “mark of the beast” in their foreheads. After all they gave Europeans their version of Christianity and even boast about it as in the following:
We conquered you as no empire of yours ever subjugated Africa or Asia . And we did it all without armies, without bullets, without blood or turmoil, without force of any kind. We did it solely by the irresistible might of our spirit, with ideas, with propaganda.
We made you the willing and unconscious bearers of our mission to the whole world, to the barbarous races of the earth, to the countless unborn generations. Without fully understanding what we were doing to you, you became the agents at large of our racial tradition, carrying our gospel to the unexplored ends of the earth.
Marcus Eli Ravage, Jewish Scholar and Official Rothschilds Biographer
A Real Case Against The Jews
Muslims will never say, as some Christians do, that the evils done by Christians were due to the teachings of the Noble Christ. Muslims will never blame good God conscious Christians for those evils. No, Muslims will put the blame where it belongs and that is on evil people who used the name of Christ to accomplish their wrongs. Evil men and women dirtied the name of Christ with their evil deeds. Now these same evil, war mongering, hypocritical false people are trying to smear and falsify Islam. They are at it again. They want war and they are using the name of Christ and smearing the name of Muhammad (saaw) to achieve it.
M. Pickthall an Englishman said around the turn of the Century: "In the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people. It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture." To see this let us look through the eyes of history as to the behavior of Christians when they conquered Jerusalem and of Muslims when they conquered Jerusalem at two different points in history:
"To turn to the Christians, the story of the triumphal entry of the Khalifah Umar ibn al-Khattab into Jerusalem has been often told, but I shall tell it once again, for it illustrates the proper Muslim attitude towards the People of the Scripture....The Christian officials urged him to spread his carpet in the Church (of the Holy Sepulchre) itself, but he refused saying that some of the ignorant Muslims after him might claim the Church and convert it into a mosque because he had once prayed there. He had his carpet carried to the top of the steps outside the church, to the spot where the Mosque of Umar now stands -
"From that day to this; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has always been a Christian place of worship, the only things the Muslims did in the way of interference with the Christian's liberty of conscience in respect of it was to see that every sect of Christians had access to it, and that it was not monopolized by one sect to the exclusion of others. The same is true of the Church of the Nativity of Bethlehem, and of other buildings of special sanctity.
"When the Crusaders took Jerusalem they massacred the Eastern Christians with the Muslims indiscriminately, and while they ruled in Palestine the Eastern Christians, such of them as did not accompany the retreating Muslim army, were deprived of all the privileges which Islam secured to them and were treated as a sort of outcasts. Many of them became Roman Catholics in order to secure a higher status; but after the re-conquest, when the emigrants returned, the followers of the Eastern church were found again to be in large majority over those who owed obedience to the Pope of Rome. The old order was reestablished and all the Dhimmis once again enjoyed their privileges in accordance with the Sacred Law (of Islam)."
Here is another rendition of the same period of history from the article, "The Crusades: Then and Now" by Robert B. Ashmore:
"Reaching Jerusalem in June, 1099, the Crusaders lay siege to the city. Successfully defeating its defenders, the Crusaders flooded into Jerusalem on July 15. "Men, women, and children were put to the sword until the streets were littered with corpses. Even Jewish inhabitants were killed." Arabs would long thereafter recall the difference between how the Franj took Jerusalem and the earlier taking of Jerusalem by Calif Umar in 638 A.D. Upon entering Jerusalem Umar had assured the Greek patriarch that lives and property of the inhabitants would be respected. Escorted to the site of the Holy Sepulchre, Umar insisted on not praying inside the site, lest Muslims appropriate it. Instead, he unrolled his prayer mat outside. By contrast, the Arab historian Ibn al-Athir reported concerning the Crusader victory of 1099, "The population of the holy city was put to the sword, and the Franj spent a week massacring Muslims." Ibn al-Qalanisi adds, "The Jews had gathered in their synagogue and the Franj burned them alive." Maalouf writes, "Not even their coreligionists were spared. One of the first measures taken by the Franj was to expel from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre all the priests of Oriental rites. They arrested the priests who had been entrusted with custody of the Cross and tortured them to make them reveal the secret [of its whereabouts].""
The great Bertrand Russell gives his views on the warlike origins of European Christianity as follows:
"It was the conversion of Constantine to Christianity that first gave occasion for the full _expression of those persecuting impulses by which Europe has distinguished itself from Asia. During the last hundred and fifty years, it is true, there has been a brief interval of liberalism, but now the white races are reverting to the theological bigotry which the Christians took over from the Jews. The Jews first invented the notion that only one religion could be true, but they had no wish to convert all the world to it, and therefore only persecuted other Jews. The Christians, retaining the Judaic belief in a special revelation, added to it the Roman desire for worldwide dominion and the Greek taste for metaphysical subtleties. The combination produced the most fiercely persecuting religion that the world has yet known. In Japan and China, Buddhism was peaceably accepted and allowed to exist along with the Shinto and Confucianism; in the Mohammedan world, Christians and Jews were not molested so long as they paid the tribute; but throughout Christendom death was the usual penalty for even the smallest deviation from orthodoxy."
Bertrand Russell (Eng. philosopher, mathematician, 1872-1970): In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays  viii, "Western Civilization"
Lastly, I would like to address verses in the Qur'an that Zionists and Christian Zionists take out of context and mis-quote in order to present a false picture of Islam. It is truly amazing to witness the vigor by which these deceivers attempt to push false information. When confronted they attempt to present themselves as experts knowing more about Islam than Muslims. But their arguments are weak and can easily be dispelled. There are quite a few Qur'anic verses that they mis-represent. I will address a few to show how easy it is to dispel their lies.
The following are three verses that the Zionists and Christian Zionists like to use to discredit Islam:
"Fight those who believe not in God nor the last day…Nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) of the people of the Book (Christians), until they pay Jizya (taxes) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." Surah 9:29 (Qur'an)
"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem; but if they repent and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity then open the way for them." Surah 9:5 (Qur'an)
"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifiction, or the cutting off of the hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land…" Surah 5:36 (Qur'an)"
The translations for these verses are not accurate and they are taken totally out of context by not showing the full statement in the verses and what came before and what came after. But even with the bad translations and missing statements I will respond to them. Mostly these verses are not directed towards a specific faith but to people whom the Muslims were at war with. There are historical references to these verses detailing a time when Muslims were being persecuted and brutally mistreated by the pagans of Mecca. The phrase "People of the Book" refers to both Christians and Jews. The reference here is not to the sincere Christians and Jews of whom the Qur'an says:
"...whoever believes in God and the Last day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord..." Sura 2:62.
The verse is referring to the corrupt evil doers among the Christians and Jews " who permit evils and wrong doing that were forbidden by God". It is referring to those who commit evil deeds in the name of their religion as in the examples I gave above. These are hypocritical Jews and Christians "who believe not in God and the Last day." This is in direct contrast to the verses that promises heaven to Christians and Jews who believe in God and the Last Day.
One of those verses is as follows:
Those who believe (in the Qur’an) And those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) And the Christians and the Sabians, - ANY who believe in God And the Last Day, And work righteousness, Shall have their reward With their Lord: on them Shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Sura 2:62)
The verses quoted above to show Islam as warlike and hostile towards Christians and Jews, when read in context and with historical understanding show that war is permitted in self-defense and under well defined limits in Islam. When undertaken it must be pushed with vigor, but only to restore peace and freedom for the worship of God. In any case strict limits must not be transgressed: women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested nor trees and crops cut down, nor peace withheld when the enemy comes to terms.
The following example in the life of Prophet Muhammad (saaw) demonstrates his regard for the protection of innocent lives. There was an incident during one of the battles where children of the enemy were killed by mistake. Muhammad the Prophet was observed with tears in his eyes, in pain because of the killing of innocent children. Some of his followers tried to sooth the Prophet by saying, "They were only the children of Kafirs (disbelievers)" The Prophet turned to the one who spoke, and he was visibly angry, our Prophet said, " Aren't you the child of a Kafir also?"
In general, it may be said that Islam is a religion of peace, good will, mutual understanding, and good faith. But it will not acquiesce in wrong doing, and its men will hold their lives cheap in defense of honor, justice and the religion which they hold sacred. They know that war is an evil, but they will not flinch from it if their honor demands it and it serves the needs of righteousness and justice.
Another mis-quote is:
"Ye muslims are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind…" Surah 3:110 (Qur'an)
The correct translation showing the rest of the verse that was left out is:
"Ye are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in God..."
Isn't the best of us those who encourages and act on what is right? The Jews believe they are God's chosen people. They forget the other part of the sentence given to them by Moses. That is "if they obey God and keep His commandments." This verse is similar to what Moses said but it applies to all human beings. We are not evolved and we are not chosen until we "enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong and believe in God." This is put in simple language that anyone can understand. The Qur'an also says that "God created the human being in the most excellent of forms." This applies to all human beings. This is no narrow racist, sectarian view of humanity. It is a universal view recognizing the innate dignity of all human beings.
Another mis-quote is:
"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them is one of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust." Surah 5:54
This is one of the most common misstatements about the Qur'an: "Take not Jews and Christians for friends . . . " If the writers of this had taken the time to study the Arabic language they would have come to a better understanding. In Arabic the common word for friend is "Siddiq". The Qur'an did not use that word in this verse. The word used is "wali" which means protecting friend or guardian. The Qur'an is telling Muslims in this verse that they should not take Jews and Christians as protecting friends to protect their interest in Islam. Why? Because Jews and Christians do not know or are sensitive to the special interest of Muslims that are unique to Islam. Would a Christian go to a Buddhist and say "Mr. Bhuddist here is my Bible I want you to be it's guardian and protect the special interest that the Bible has for Christians." No! That can only be done by a fellow Christian who shares that interest. This was taken totally out of context. There are too many places in the Qur'an that enjoins closeness and unity to God fearing Christians and Jews. Here are few references to words from our Prophet and Qur'anic verses addressing Muslims interaction with non-Muslims:
"He who believes in God and the Last Day should honour his guest, should not harm his neighbour, should speak good or keep quiet." (Bukhari, Muslim)
"Whoever hurts a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys God." (Bukhari)
[7:159] “Among the followers of Moses there are those who guide in accordance with the truth, and the truth renders them righteous.”
[3:113-114]. “They are not all the same; among the followers of the scripture, there are those who are righteous. They recite God's revelations through the night, and they fall prostrate.”
”They believe in God and the Last Day, they advocate righteousness and forbid evil, and they hasten to do righteous works. These are the righteous.”
Here is another verse that is often taken out of context by the enemies of Islam:
"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost." Surah 3:85 (Qur'an)>
Anyone reading this should ask the question "what does Islam mean and how do Muslims understand this verse?" The word Islam means anyone who submits their will to do God's Will. In other words to submit what you want to do for what God say do. So if an urge rises up in me to lie and God says "thou shalt not lie", then to be a Muslim I must put aside my desire to lie and follow what God says. This is true of other desires like killing, stealing, adultery, etc, any evil desire I may have that does not agree with God's edicts I must put them aside and follow God if I want to be a Muslim. Why is this important? It is because everything in nature and the universe obeys the laws by which they were created in. The human being has free will. Unlike an animal, that depends on instincts or an inanimate object that are governed by laws, the human being has a choice. By living according to the purpose for which God has created him the human being joins the plants, animals, stars and everything in the universe by living in tune with his nature.
This is the same as when Jesus said "Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven" or "I do nothing of myself but of Him who sent me!" If this verse was meant to refer only to those who identify with orthodox Islam, the Qur'an would not have revealed that "ANY who believe in God and work righteousness will receive their reward from their Lord. On them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve". It is saying that if anyone desires a religion that does not teaches obedience to God and righteousness it will not be accepted. Those people who teach evil and racism in their religion will not be accepted by God. The hideous teachings of the Talmud is a good example of this.
The Muslim position is clear. The Muslim does not claim to have a religion peculiar to himself. Islam is not a sect or an ethnic religion. In its view all religions are one, for the truth is one. It is the continuation of the religion preached by all the earlier Prophets. It is the Truth taught by all the inspired Books. In essence it amounts to a consciousness of the Will and Plan of God and a joyful submission to that Will and Plan. If anyone wants a religion other than that, he is false to his own nature, as he is false to God's Will and Plan. Such a one cannot expect guidance for he has deliberately denounced guidance. In the words of the Qur'an:
"Say, We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to Abraham, Ishmail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord; We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to God do we bow our will (Islam)."
I could list more mis-quotes and answer them, but I will stop here. Instead I invite the reader to study Islam for his or her self. Islam is an open religion. We don't have anything to hide. The Qur'an and Hadiths are in just about every library. Regarding religious propagation the Qur'an says, "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error." To Muslims the Qur'an teaches, "Your duty is only to deliver a clear message. Only God can touch the heart." Islam is against the forcing of religion on others and the killing of those who change their minds. Every life is a sacred gift bestowed by God. Muslims believe that God is the Giver of life and only He should take life or give the circumstances by which a life could be taken. There are no big I's and little you's in Islam. As such every life is sacred. Punishment is meted out to anyone who take a life in a way not ordained by God. Justice must be meted out with no prejudice or consideration to partiality. In the words of the Qur'an:
"O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily God is well- acquainted with all that ye do." (4:135)