I just ran across this essay from the eminent ex-Muslim, Ali Sina: the founder of FaithFreedom International. It expresses my own feelings on the subject better than I could. Note: I edited the essay for grammatical errors (Ali Sina is an Iranian and English is his second language).
The Problem is Islam, not Muslims
By Ali Sina
We have to make a distinction between Muslims and Islam. Muslims are people, human beings like you and I with the same goodness, hopes and aspirations that characterizes all of us humans; but Islam is the doctrine that teaches humans to hate other humans. Most Muslims know nothing of Islam. The average Muslim still believes that Islam is a religion of peace because the name is derived from the word peace. Many Muslims believe that Muhammad was honest. They don’t know about the crimes committed by the holy Prophet and that he was a vindictive man who killed innocent people without any guilt. The majority of Muslims believe that Muhammad encouraged manumitting [releasing from slavery] the slaves and don’t know how ruthlessly he attacked innocent people, massacred them and enslaved their children and wives. They still believe that Muhammad married so many wives to protect them from “starvation” but do not know the details of his scandalous and lustful sex crimes.
The majority of Muslims are good because they do not know Islam. And yes there are many good people and saints amongst them, but the credit should not go to Islam. Muslims are good despite Islam, and they are good because they do not follow the teachings of the Quran.
Those who come to know Islam belong to two categories. One group finds Islam appealing and in accordance with their criminal nature. They kill people, torture their fellow human beings, become terrorists and practice the Quran and the Sunnah gleefully and shamelessly. You find them amongst the Taliban, the Mullah of Iran and the Islamic terrorists everywhere. The other group finds it appalling when they discover the truth about Islam and leave it. If you are a Muslim you have to ask yourself: to which category you belong? After learning the truth about Islam and seeing the evidence presented here you and I no more belong to the “ignorant” majority. By ignorant, I mean ignorant of Islam. Now you know the truth about Islam and what is in the Quran. If you choose Islam, after learning the truth about it, you choose a path different from those who value first and foremost human decency, truth and rightness. Here is where each person's true nature is shown. Here is where the separation between good and evil is made. You may choose to follow the good and abandon Islam; or you may choose to follow this dark hatemongering cult of killing and turn your back towards humanity and righteousness.
This is where we show our true nature. We all read the same hate-ladened verses of the Quran and the
same shocking stories of the crimes reported by the Prophet. But our reaction is different. Those crimes are not acceptable to me and to many other honest people. But some have no difficulty accepting them. Some of us are shocked to learn what Muhammad did to Safiyah: raping her after killing her father, husband and many of her relatives. Others feel nothing. Some of us are appalled to read the details of the first holocaust led by Muhammad, the genocide and cold-blooded massacre of the Jews of Arabia; others feel nothing. Some of us cringe when we read that the Prophet used to terrorize his opponents like a common gangster, showing no mercy even to a 120-year-old man or a nursing mother of 5, whose only crime was composing a lyric spurning him. That does not bother some Muslims at all. We are disgusted when we're told that this man, the holy prophet of Allah (peace be upon his immaculate soul), who burned tree plantations and destroyed water wells. To Muhammad, ends justified means and he broke any moral and ethical code to get at what he wanted. To others he was a great statesman. Some of us shudder when we read that the Prophet raided merchant caravans, plundered towns and cities, enslaved people, ordered raping of the women captured in his wars and enriched himself by stealing the wealth of his victims and selling them as slaves. To other Muslims, all that is part of being a messenger of God.
If that is how you feel, obviously you and I have very different values. The God I believe in is pure love. He does not kill, does not plunder, and does not curse. My God does not order rape, does not assassinate, He does not discriminate and does not call a part of humanity najis (filthy). My God is not the khairul makerin “master deceiver”, as he is described in Quran and is not a ruthless tyrant. He does not burn anyone in the blazing fire for eternity because he has failed to recognize him and to worship him. If after learning these facts, you are still a Muslim then, for you, all all of Muhammad’s atrocities are okay. It all boils down to who we are and what values we hold dear to our hearts.
If I believed in Satan, I would say Allah is Satan. His deeds unveils his true identity and his satanic nature. It is evident that some Muslims do not follow Islam because it is good but because it reaffirms their values. Fortunately the majority of Muslims have different values than those taught by Islam. They believe in goodness, in kindness, in equality of all the people irrespective of their beliefs or gender. They believe in love and not in hate and they want to embrace all humanity, not kill them because they’re not Muslims. These people, when they learn about the true Islam, will abandon it. And because this knowledge is spreading very fast, millions of Muslims are leaving Islam and this exodus is gaining momentum. Soon nothing will be left of Islam but a bad name and a sore memory. But not all Muslims will leave Islam. The criminals and those with hate in their hearts will remain loyal to Muhammad -- just as there are still neo-nazis who still heil Hitler. But their numbers will be reduced and their threat will be contained.