micfur wrote:Its unusual, lately, how more and more posts in here, regardless of their original subject, seem to wind up in a morass of American criticism. Weird.
Morass? Weird? The question was a comparative one. It seems logical to answer in comparative terms. There are two doctrines at play here. You can't have polarity without poles. And while I agree with most of the last half of your last post, I have one or two points to add.
micfur wrote:There is enough evidence to suggest that if it was capable, Islam would most certainly like to bend the world to its view.
Agreed, but so too Christianity. (Christianity has been much more successful on this front).
micfur wrote:Islam, however, has perhaps more than any other religion expanded at the point of the sword rather than the strength of its ideas.
Not sure I'd agree with the bit I marked in bold. Certainly it's expansion throughout the Middle East in the very early days, but not since then. To FXR's list I'd add the Spanish colonization of South America and the entire British Empire. Remember the latter was spread via the 3 C's. Christianity, Commerce and (sic) Civilization: the point of the most advanced weaponry of the day.
micfur wrote:We see today, poll after poll, demonstrating how a significant minority of Muslims hold radical world views.
Or at least we get to see the headlines as featured in the Daily Mail.
micfur wrote:It is also worrying that the younger population appear to be less liberal than the older population. A reversal of general western trends.
And another Daily Mail myth. Regardless of religion or race, the young in any society is where radical elements arise. As people age, they tend to mellow. This as true of environmentalists as it is Muslims.
micfur wrote:From such a weak position the last thing radical Islam should be doing is provoking a military and cultural response.
Agreed. And the last thing a truly democratic west should be doing is provoking extremists into random acts of barbarity then using said acts to demonize Islam as a whole. On your last point I agree entirely. A little reverse psychology goes a long way.