From the earliest years of post-Prophetic Islam, Muslims holding the power of the sword and what constitutes the authoritative meaning of the Koran and the prophet's traditions, have rigged the boundaries of institutionalized Islam. The wielders of the sword and interpreters of faith have worked in tandem to impose their consensus on all Muslims, and those who have questioned their authority have paid a steep price.
Yet we must still tolerate the ad nauseum recitations that Islam is a "Religon of Peace" - even amid all of the threats and acts of violence against so much as mere words that the supposedly "peaceful" practicioners of Islam find offensive?
This institutionalized reality of Islam and its resulting complexity are not well understood by non-Muslims. Institutionalized Islam is represented by Muslim majority states and their political and religious leaders who share a consensus on matters of politics and faith.
What is to be understood or misunderstood? The reasons why fascists are fascist, and their means of enforcing their fascism, are entirely irrelevant. Only the will and means to defeat them bears any importance. We do not care to understand Muslim fascists; we only care to defeat those who would murder innocents and attempt to impose their will by force on otherwise free society.
Below institutionalized Islam's scrutiny exists a vast unaccounted number of Muslims who seek anonymity to escape the coercive notice of authorities in mosques and in presidential or monarchical palaces. Their voices, were they heard, would be rudely dismissed as heretical.
And it is the embodiment of those voices that must rise up, unite, and overthrow the fascists from within, before your religion will ever have any chance of respect from and peaceful co-existence with the free world.
From its beginnings, institutionalized Islam's representatives hollowed out the spiritual content of Islam in the service of political expediency. The inevitable followed -- politics dressed in the robes of religion.
In other words, Islam is nothing more than fascist socio-political ideology disguised as religion. Given that the modus operandi of Islam has not changed since the days of Mohammad, we have no reason to believe that Islam has ever been otherwise.
The faces of institutionalized Islam -- political leaders such as Egypt's Hosni Mubarak or religious leaders such as Lebanon's Hasan Nasrallah -- are revealing of what politics have done to faith.
Islam has never been a religion of faith. Righteousness by works is, by definition, in opposition to righteousness by faith. This truth sets Christianity apart as unique from all other religion, in that it is only by the interceding work of God Himself, to take on the sin of the world, in order to redeem mankind to Himself, that man is saved from sin and reconciled into right relationship with God. Nothing man does can save himself, apart from faith in the redemptive work of his Savior God. No component of Islam in any way resembles this doctrine.
The doctrine of faith is tied immutably with grace, and its adherents are compelled by nothing other than love to spread this doctrine to others. Islam is a doctrine of works, and its adherents are compelled by their desire to accomplish their own righteousness through the conversion of as many as possible. This desire leads naturally to the use of force and jihad as a means to add to one's "good works".
Politics have not perverted Islam; fascist political ideology is the natural progression of the religious ideology itself.
Within the Arab Sunni world the Egyptian-born Sheikh Qaradawi, 80, of Qatar, is the face of institutionalized Islam. He is the closest to what might pass for a titular head of Muslims akin to the Pope. Qaradawi's words, now broadcast by television network al-Jazeerah, are taken as authoritative pronouncements of Islam. He is the "spiritual" leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement formed to repudiate freedom and democracy, and a defender of Islam's war against the West by any means, including suicide bombings.
If "authoritative pronouncements of Islam" include the repudiation of freedom and democracy, war against opposing culture, and suicide bombings, then Islam has no claim whatsoever as a "religion of peace".
For such representatives of institutionalized Islam, all things are political. They are the authoritative guardians of the ideology that in Islam religion and politics are inseparable, and jihad -- holy war -- is its defining aspect.
War is the "defining aspect" of the self-proclaimed "religion of peace"?
Hence, since this institutionalized Islam is at war with the West, for Coren or anyone else to expect an apology from its generals is rather naive.
Thank you, Salim, for proving the point: Islam is at war with western civilization, and as such it is not a "religion of peace" but rather a fascist political movement under the guise of religion. Islam, as you indicate, does not have "titular religious heads", but rather, "field generals" bent on the destruction of freedom and democracy - again, by your own admission. Certainly, those bent on our destruction are not wont to apologize for attempting to carry out that end. Therefore, we are fully within reasonable right to hunt down and destroy every arm of this fascist movement.