But, before I begin I'll offer some insights into the people who practice the islamic faith. We have traveled quite a bit. Several of the countries we visited have large Muslim populations - Egypt, Turkey, India, and others. Where radical islam is an issue, it is the governments and NOT the people in general who are the problem. The Muslims we have met just want to be able to feed, clothe and house their families; they do not want to "convert" others or to dominate the world. They want to be left alone to attain whatever life goals they have. Due mainly to their lack of available education, some are susceptible to propaganda - as are many of us here.
A friend we met in Egypt is a good example. During the "Arab Spring" we, on facebook, were having discussions about what was going on there. He had been convinced that the Muslim Brotherhood was peaceful and that the Jews and the rest of the West were responsible for much of the issues confronting Egypt. Since the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt he sees things completely differently. Now, he wants the military AND the islamics out of his government.
So, a little "high-level" history of Islam:
Islam was founded by Mohammad starting in the year 610AD. Islam is defined by the Qur'an. According to the traditional Islamic view, the Qur'an (Koran) began with revelations to Muhammad (when he was 40 years old) in 610. The history of the Qur'an began when its verses were revealed to the Sahabah (i.e., the companions of Mohammad) during Muhammad's life.
Those who adhere to the islamic faith are referred to as "Muslim". "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "one who submits to God". By "submit", Muslims mean totally. Therefore, they are solely motivated by their beliefs and are governed by Islamic law (i.e., sharia law).
There are 4 major branches of islam: Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Wahhabi Muslims, and the Sufi Muslims. However, the 2 main (most populous) divisions are the Shiite and the Sunni. There are also "sub-sects"; but, they are not the focus here as they have little global impact, if any.
Rather, this article will focus on the 2 main branches - Shiite and Sunni. The below chart provides the differences between them.
The Qur'an specifies that all who are not Muslim are less worthy than those who are not. The more radical element(s) interpret this to mean "kill all those who are not Muslim or who will not submit to Islam". Actually, this interpretation is described in the Qur'an. Now, before we view this as totally "crazy", the Jewish and Christian Bible(s) [and the Qur'an, by the way] state that homosexuals should be killed - check out Leviticus 20:13. The difference is that no matter how "radical" a Jew or a Christian might be in their beliefs, they don't actually kill homosexuals; radical muslims do.
The Shiite and the Sunni hate each other. Why? It has to do with the successor to Mohammad.
The Shiites believe the rightful successor was Ali ibn Abi Talib, the husband of Mohammad's daughter, Fatima, and was so designated as successor by Mohammad. The Sunni believe it was Abu Bakr who was elected by the people and who was the father of Mohammad's favorite wife and that Mohammad did not designate a successor.
A corollary is that he Catholic church split into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches due to a disagreement on the authority of the Pope. These two churches do not kill each other due to their differences. Nor do modern Christians and Jews kill those who are of differing religious beliefs.
As I mentioned the Catholic Church, as an aside, Click Here for an article on what Thomas Aquinas' opinions were on Islam.
And, for a more recent historical figure's comment on Islam, Click Here.
Shiites and Sunnis have been "at war" with each other for centuries over their differences. Radical islamics actually do kill non-islamics as well as muslims who may be of a different "belief system". For proof of this, CLICK HERE - WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC.
Both the Shiite and the Sunni radicals are comitted to the world domination of islam. Their desire is to establish a world wide caliphate. A caliphate (from the Arabic khilafa) is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious as well as political leader known as a caliph. They are totally commited to this and this is the source of much of the world's terrorism. In their view "the end does justify the means". There is no separation of "church and state" here - they are one and the same.
In their view, the end-state Caliphate will be ruled by the Al Mahdi, the 12th imam. Think of "the second coming of Jesus" for a kind of corollary.
As the chart above shows, the vast majority (90%) of muslims are Sunni. Both the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda terrorist groups are Sunni. But, to add to the complexity, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda hate each other as well. Why? Al Qaeda believes the Muslim Brotherhood has capitulated to western ideas by trying to "conquer" the world with less than violent / terrorist (from our perspective) means.
I don't mean to imply that the Muslim Brotherhood is non-violent in its methods - far from it. Consider their motto: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." They have sponsored such groups as Al Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden, (before the "breakup" mentioned above), Hamas, and others as well.
Actually, the Muslim Brotherhood has a "plan" for world dominance; it is called "The Project". Click Here to learn more. And, for a different view on the goal of world dominance, Click Here.
The FBI listed 29 organizations working in the United States to further the Muslim Brotherhood's goals. They include the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). The IAP and the Holy Land Foundation shared many members and directors, including those who founded the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Further, the current US president (2013) seems to side with the Muslim Brotherhood at every turn. First it was in Egypt and now in Syria. The president tried to sell the Muslim Brotherhood as a secular organization. The first thing they tried to do was to establish sharia law, basically, as the Egyptian constitutional foundation. They attempted to turn Egypt from a largely secular nation into a theocracy. The Syrian rebels are from the Muslim Brotherhood AND from Al Qaeda. The Benghazi incident was the result of an attempt by the US to smuggle weapons to the Syrian rebels, through Turkey, via Benghazi. The fact that the US president has not just a few Muslim Brotherhood members/supporters within his organization should be of great concern. Click Here to see more.
Our president, in his siding with the Muslim Brotherhood, needs to be aware that the old adage "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" does not apply with radical islamics. The Shiite and the Sunni may hate each other, but they both hate anyone non-muslim a lot more.
It is not just the US that is of concern. Islam is "attacking" Europe from within. Europe's approach to "multiculturalism" is leading to massive issues. Click here for a discussion on this. Islam's encroachment into Europe is well within their "The Project" (see above) gameplan. Europe, by the way, is taking strides to eliminate "multiculturalism" as a viable concept.
In summary, be wary of what you read, see, and hear. Do your own research. Our way of life is at stake on this one.