This does not explain the disunity and strife arizing out the actua...
Thank you for your comments! What you mention is very important for people to understand. To begin with, the disunity you speak of is very interesting because although there are many schools of thought in the Islamic world, there is only one true Islam that is held together by the Qur'an in spite of the differences in the various schools of thought. As a result of illiteracy in many Muslim areas of the world, which is not really the case in America, there are indeed many who are misled by self-serving Sheiks and Mullahs. However, the Qur'an is very clear about sects not being acceptable before Allah. All those schools of thought that have evolved into factions and warring enemies are not true Islam; otherwise, they would be submitting to Allah, as per the revelation of The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
The strife you mention, jihada as it is called in Arabic, was initially that strife caused by the Christian terrorists now known in history as The Crusaders, but in time as with all religious and political organizations there are those few who think they know it all or that they are above the message received from the Messenger, apostates, if you will. All these warring factions, including the Baha'i faith, do not arise out of "the actual practice of Islam" as you claimed but quite the opposite. They come out of self-serving individuals claiming without merit to be either new messengers of Allah or claiming to know the message of the Messenger of Allah better than anyone else. We see this in almost every religion in the world, so it's nothing new.
Peace is indeed a big part of Islam; however, you have people who are not truly educated in their religion such as those radical Muslim terrorist groups who not only do not follow their Qur'an but take it out of context to such an extreme that one who "does indeed" know the Qur'an wonder where they are coming from with their interpretations. Any organization that promotes war, tyranny, spousal or child abuse, and anything that is not in the direction of maintaining peace and ummah (middle community) is not representative of Islam in its truest form, based on the Qur'an, even the validated Sunnah and ahadiyth.
Sabir, patience in Arabic, is mentioned thorughout the Qur'an. It is a major part of the command to tolerance that Muslims are indeed called to, but just as you see in almost every religion, especially Christianity, there are those who for whatever reason engage in activities totally contrary to the Messenger in whose name they act. What you see in American media is not true Islam. In fact, what the Qur'an calls those who violate the laws of Islam in the name of Allah is "hypocrites." If you study the Qur'an, you will discover that it is very clear about hypocrisy and the consequences of it, and it is not limited to Islam alone. If no peace process is attempted in times of war or even civil unrest, then by definition you do not have a Muslim present.
In your post, you mentioned "true jihadism." Have you ever had a tribulation in your life like a bad day, bad habit, a course in school that you struggled in? Well, these are examples of true jihada. The Muslims in the early days were persecuted as were the Jews and people of many other religions and walks of life by the Christian Church. Those appointed to risk becoming martyrs in the name of Jesus were called The Crusaders. We now celebrate their deaths on Halloween, the witches' sabbat. Muslims were the protectors of both Jews and Christians during this time. In fact, when the Muslims left Jerusalem, the Jews and Christians both begged for the Muslims to stay.
Because of these "cults" that proclaim supremacy over other cults, the battle continues, and not only Muslims but all people of the free world lay victim to the needless human suffering that goes all the way back to the beginning of human history. I agree with you about the needless human suffering and intolerance; however, if you check your historical facts, you will discover that it did not derive from Islam at all. What we see in the radical Muslim terrorist groups derived from their resentment of the historical attacks by The Crusaders, the Christian organization of terrorist networks that continue in different forms to this day. Their false claims consist of being at war with the infidels, which means nothing more than the ones who are unfaithful to their own religion. Their true claims, however, consist of Christians and Jews being on the continual path of acting in the name of their god and religion to subterfuge those who do not agree with them. Two wrongs do not make a right, so radical Muslim terrorists are just as wrong as those persecuting Muslims, much less anyone else who disagrees with their ideologies.
Muslims, according to the Qur'an, are not allowed to shove religion down anyone's throat, but anyone who wants to know about Islam, Muslims who are properly educated in Islam are called to teach. In the process, the Qur'an calls all mankind to use their noggins and debate peacefully and intelligently. This means that where criticism is due, by all means criticize! But do so with tact and in the spirit of peace. Islam has no history of shoving religion down anyone's throat by true Muslims, and most of the history used by the international Judeo-Christian communities to prove that Islam is a fierce and blood-thirsty religion have, according to my study so far, taken history out of context or proven to have lied.
If you have any intelligent criticism against Islam, I know of no true Muslim who would have any problem with a genuine response. Islam, per the Qur'an, is truly a standard of peace; however, I cannot judge Christianity on the Guyana Tragedy of the late 1970s, can I? Same goes for all religions in all fairness to all religions and standards. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask, my friend.