Erick Stakelbeck of CBN sent me this response he got from an American Muslim to an entry he wrote at his blog at CBN:
I am a Muslim-American who converted to Islam, and I must say that in part I agree with your comments. There are two dimensions to Islam. A Christian once asked me: “Is Islam a religion of peace or terror?” I said: “That depends on you.” -He seemed confused. I continued…
If people can at us (Muslims) with love, respect, and peace, then you will find Islam as being a religion of peace.
However, when invaders come into our countries, bulldoze our houses, rape our economies and resources, as well as our women and children. THEN, my friend, you will find Islam as being a religion of terror.
The problems with this are many, of course, but chief among them is the fact that throughout history Muslims have found such pretexts, and used them to advance jihad warfare against non-Muslim nations. The Islamic doctrine of jihad is not only defensive, but offensive, and even the defensive jihad can be so elastically interpreted as to allow for any attack, no matter how egregious, even 9/11, to be portrayed as defensive.
Also, the hegemonic character of traditional Islamic law regarding relations with non-Muslims means that when non-Muslims offer Muslims “love, respect, and peace,” that will not ultimately make for peaceful coexistence, as the man who wrote to Stakelbeck suggests, but only the supremacy of Muslims and subjugation of unbelievers.