steadyaku47 comment...I did not write this....too good a read to not share it with others...with thanks to Azam.
'So, let me make sure I have this straight.
All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?'
Such a question can only be from an ignorant person. The Muslims ruled in Spain, the Balkans, India for several hundred years,but they remain a minority. Not only that they not killed others but they did not even convert them. To Islam there is no compulsionin religion, conversion can only be voluntary. When Spain again fell to Christian rule, they forced the people to convert to Catholic or leave Spain. Of course those mainly affected were Muslims, but Jews were also affected. The Jews did not migrate to other parts of Europe but to other Muslim lands like the Ottoman Empire. Now some arrogant Jews do not want to admit this.
In the Balkans only the part that is now Bosnia became Muslim majority. In other areas like Croatia, Serbia, the Muslims allowed the church to function as a kind of local govn. The effects can be seen now. Same way in India, the Moghul empire and other Muslim kingdoms ruled until the coming of the westerners mainly British. who defeated them. In a way it was the fault of the Muslims who did
not keep up with the progress in the west. This was not mainly that the west invented better weapons, it was that the west went through a mental revolution. The renaissance brought a new way of thinking, people questioned old beliefs, were not afraid to think anew and did things in a new manner. New inventions came about, agriculture became more productive, governance improved. Efficiency improved through the whole of society. It happened most in England and it became the master of the world. This is where the Muslim world has to improve and catch up with the rest of the world - not by becoming suicide bombers.
It is a propaganda weapon for those who are against Islam to say that Islam encourages war and sadly some Muslims also believe this. The Prophet (pbuh) and the sahabats were given permission by Allah to fight only after they were severely persecuted and could have perish if they did not fight back in self defense. The early Muslim community in Mekah were not allowed to buy food, a trade embargo,
they faced starvation. The Prophet himself was subjected to all sorts of insults and humiliation. One was having animal excreta and intestinal wastes poured over his head while he was in the vicinity of the ka'abah, but he remained calm. When they were under the physical threat of being attacked and killed did Allah gave them the permission to fight back and that too with certain conditions on how
warfare is to be conducted. We have to read the verses in the Quran pertaining to this in this context of a struggle for survival. If they are taken in isolation, it may appear that Islam encourages violence and intolerance.
Correct me if my above account is in any way inadequate.