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The Arabic word for peace is salaam; it is included in Arabic/Muslim greetings. Islam means surrender or submission in Arabic. A Muslim is one who submits to Allah. For many the word Muslim conjurs up thoughts of suicidal bombers. Such stereotyping of all Muslims may be faithful to the authoritarian way, but is wide of the mark.

Most Muslims are ordinary, peace-loving people. Extremists show their authoritarian colors with their selective readings of religious texts and rigid adherence to narrow views. Like the other monotheisms, Islam has splintered into numerous sects (Sunni & Shi's), mystics (Sufi) and interpretations (Salafia).

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Some writers claim that Islam is a warrior religion. Others claim not. The Qur'an makes much of war and fealty to God while not mentioning love. It provides and proscribes behavior, not creed. It has great drawing power in that for the seventh century, Islam was a rather complete system for governance as well as belief. Unlike Christianity, Islam has never moved out of the "Inquisition" stage. (Women and apostates especially, are abused and worse. See Inquisitors and Witch Hunters for the same disease in the "Christian world.") Governance systems relying solely on prophets of the past will eventually succumb to more flexible systems based on experience that grow with, accommodate, or include developments in science, technology, society, and governance. At least this is the history.


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