[t]he Prophet Muhammad's statement that "difference within my community is part of God's mercy" expressed one of Islam's central ideas, and it is enshrined both in law and usage from the earliest times.He's right, you know zhat? He then, however, asserts that
This principle created a level of tolerance among Muslims and coexistence between Muslims and others that was unknown in Christendom until after the triumph of secularism.
For the moment, there does not seem to be much prospect of a moderate Islam in the Muslim world. This is partly because in the prevailing atmosphere the expression of moderate ideas can be dangerous—even life-threatening. Radical groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban, the likes of which in earlier times were at most minor and marginal, have acquired a powerful and even a dominant position.Roll that one around for moment. There are, according to the CIA -- so take with a grain of salt, 1,634,948,648 Muslims in the world. There are considerably fewer members of al Qaeda and the Taliban, by all accounts. So how do we account for the vastly larger number of Muslims who, like pretty much everybody else, want to earn enough to live, enjoy the refreshing beverages of their choice, and bask in the love of the love(s) of their life? How are they able to resist the dominance of the violent crazies?