A member of my congregation asked yesterday: Is Islam a religion of hate?
I respected his honesty.
Answering this question is tricky. Many Muslim moderates do not hate. However, Islam was founded in violence. Muhammad took Mecca by force. He ordered the death of many people for bad reasons.
So Islam, historically and in it's conservative form is violent and militant.
Here are some of the resources that I have looked at to draw these conclusions:
American Muslims utterly condemn what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi Condemns Attacks Against Civilians: Forbidden in Islam
These are statements from moderate, liberal Islam. They do not accord with historical Islam. Simply scroll down the page and read some of what they have to say about Jihad. It is a legitimate doctrine to them. Here's a sample:
So when you meet (in fight... Jihad in Allah's Cause) those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives) (V.47:4, 5,6). Jihad in Qur'an and Sunnah
I think these liberals are trying for a civilian loophole that may or may not be legitimate (cf Steven's There is no such thing as a civilian). Also, I'd be really interested to see what they would say if we asked if the Pentagon was a legitimate target.
For those who want to research Islam from a specifically Christian point of view, try Answering Islam. Anyone might be interested in their Muhammad, Islam, and Terrorism This essay talks about acts by Muhammad which can legitimately be construed as terrorist.
From Answering Islam:
The modern Christian is embarrassed at our own historical acts of violence, atrocity, and conquest because he knows that they violate the deepest teaching and example of Jesus. Our embarrassment is that we lived as 'mere men', that we stooped to the level of those without heart, that we failed to obey the Living Lord.
I am struggling to do good history here. If I am not, please email me and let me know. I do not want to inaccurately portray historical Islam.