Islam has a problem. That is, what we like to think of as peaceful, moderate, liberal Islam has a problem; one that won't go away. And that problem is Mohammed, the character of Mohammed, and the words of Mohammed, which are believed by Muslims to be the words of Allah, given by God to Gabriel, spoken by Gabriel to Mohammed, then recited by Mohammed, written down by various of his listeners, and over time, after the death of Mohammed, collected and compiled into what we now know as the Koran, the recitation by Mohammed of the words of Allah, the words of God.
The Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) and the Christian Bible, the New Testament, except for a few passages that specifically quote God, such as the Ten Commandments, or the sayings of Jesus, is believed by Jews and Christians to be inspired by God, but not the literal words of God. The Koran, however, is believed by devout Muslims to be the literal, inerrant, eternal, perfect, unchangeable words of Allah himself.
There are many Muslims who do see, and practice, Islam as a religion of peace, grace and mercy. And there are clearly many others who do not. Those who want Islam to be a religion of peace have a problem, a conflict, for they cannot follow the inerrant, eternal, unchangeable words of Allah, as recited by Mohammed, as written in the Koran, and also practice Islam as a religion of peace, justice, grace, and mercy, for the Koran demands eternal Jihad, never-ending war against the infidels, until Islam is victorious over all other religions, and all people submit to the supremacy of Islam.
Islam cannot become a religion of peace until those Muslims who desire Islam to be a religion of peace are able to reinterpret, or ignore, or explain away, the Sword Verses that call for perpetual jihad against the infidels, never-ending war on all non-Muslims, until Islam is victorious over all other religions; and to reconcile the brutality of Mohammed with the idealization of Mohammed as "the perfect man," and of Allah as Gracious, Merciful.
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