There are approximately 1.6 billion muslims in the world today, so there are 1.6 billion different versions of islam; in most cases the differences are trivial (at least to "unbelievers"). In other cases the differences are rather more obvious.
Each muslim supposedly reads the Qur'an differently and consciously or unconsciously gives different conflicting verses a different emphasis: The obvious being :-
…slay the pagans wherever ye find them
whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.
Any normal person is going to emphasise the second verse whereas murderous psychopaths will emphasise the first.
For those who think that only the qur'an is like this, take a closer look at the bible – in particular deuteronomy 17.
As a wooly minded liberal, I have a problem with certain aspects of certain flavours of islam :-
- Apostasy. A number of those versions of islam have no place for god in them; if you become an atheist in certain islamic countries it is safest to go through the motions. Because being stoned to death for apostasy would ruin your entire day. And atheists are the lucky ones – it is possible for us to go through the motions and pretend.
- Women's rights. I'm not happy with anything that believes in second class citizens.
- Criticism. I'm human and I've got a right to criticise anything which I see has issues. Calling it "blasphemy" and threatening me with stoning isn't a sensible way of facing criticism.
But the main problem is of course that a tiny number (in comparison to the total) of versions of islam support terrorism. Interestingly there are suggestions that many terrorists have an extremely limited understanding of islam.
Mainstream muslims protest that the terrorists aren't real muslims and that islam is a religion of peace. Fair enough.
But perhaps they should go a step further and declare that supporters of terrorism and terrorists are apostates, and need to talk with a qualified iman about rejoining the faith.
For those who think that this is a uniquely islamic problem, you should read up on christian terrorism.