I'm not sure if this has been posted before; I tried a search and didn't yield any unique results.
While I was combing the web for Islam websites (and a few anti-Islam ones), I stumbled across something very interesting and disturbing. In short, the RAND corporation is essentially a non-profit think tank that supports research for a number of policy issues both in the US and abroad. Of course, given the current war on terror, it comes as no surprise that they would have something to say about terrorists, and about Islam.
The 88 page document in question is titled "Civil Democratic Islam". What it attempts to do is show how Islam can essentially be changed to fit into a Western democratic value system. I'm not going to put a detailed summary up here, I just want to give a bit of background and then hopefully you will read the document and decide for yourself.
The West sees Islam as a growing force - and indeed it is, being the fastest growing religion in the world. While the West does not hate Muslims as a whole, what it does deplore is the idea of total Islamic rule: the Khalifa. The main agenda outlined in this treatise is to give those Muslims who demand change in the religion a voice, and to pit the fundamentalist Muslims against the more traditionalist ones. In the end, their idea is to establish Islam as a "caged religion", operating within the bounds of a universal democratic society.
Here is the link to the document. If this gets removed (and I can understand how it would), then visit their website rand.org and in the search box in the upper right corner, search for "Civil Democratic Islam".
The reason I am posting this is because I want to make Muslims aware that there is an effort to change this religion and "reinterpret the past", and this is not the only evidence by far (although from what I can find it is the most extensive). To be blunt, I do not support this one bit, although each of us is entitled to his or her opinion. Many muslims (including myself up until recently) feel that the West is not really an enemy of Islam. The truth is that they are not enemies of most Muslims, but they are enemies of Islam.
The difference lies in the fact that Islam is unique in its structure; it combines both the state and religion in a singlular form, which no other religion does to such a wide extent. The West is fearful of this; they feel that this is a backwards religion rooted in 7th century practices that cannot possibly apply to the modern world - thus, it must be changed. What they do not realize is that as a Muslim you must take Islam as a whole or leave it as a whole; there is no middle ground.
"O believers enter into the fold of Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Satan, for he is indeed your open enemy" (2:208)
I do not condone acts of terror, whereby they involve killing innocent people. Some people say that there is no such thing as "innocent disbelievers", but I disagree. While I believe Islam is truly a religion of peace, there are times where force must be applied against oppressors. If we are to establish an Islamic state, there is a good possibility that we will have to use militant force (read: organized) to get it done.
While I don't particularly identify with one line of thought in all issues in regards to the way the article categorizes them, what I do believe is that Islam cannot be changed from its original form and we are obligated as Muslims to practice the true Islam of Muhammad (SAW). Yes, we must change those who are extremist and radical and show them the true path of Islam, but we cannot allow Islam to fall victim to so called democratization or Westernization.
It uses the idea that Western society has changed overtime by altering its interpretation of religious scriptures. This is in reference to how most Christians regard the laws laid out in the Old Testament as archaic and therefore no longer applicable. Therefore, they argue, the same can be applied to the Qur'an, since many of the same laws exist in both books.
What are your thoughts on this?