What is the drive behind our distaste and distrust for Islam? Is it political motivated, lack of empathy, or purely based on the evens of 9/11 and thereafter? Do other religions deliver doctrines as irrational, dogmatic, divisive, and dangerous messages as Islam? Is it possible to look past what one might think of the principles and doctrines of Islam, to appreciate the traditions of Islamic mysticism and Muslim culture, such as the sound of Adhan or Sufi prayers?
I do think all the reasons you postulated for the fear or distrust of Islam are valid to some degree, just depends on the person. Having read the Koran as well as the old and new testament i think that the old testament is as divisive and irrational in places. I think they both also deliver amazing messages ir metaphors for living a good life. I find many religious texts to be contradictory in places. That said it is many times the interpeters and deliverers of the content of those texts that pose more problems than the texts themselves. I personally think Jesus's message in the new testament is really hard to reconcile with what i see in most all of the institutions that deliver his message as well. So yes, i do believe it is possible to look past the perceived message of Islam to see the beauty within but that is up to the individual's perception. A.J.Jacobs wrote a book " The Year of Livong Biblically" where he found that it would be impossible to live according to all conditions required to be Jewish that are in the old testament. That being said, there are as many parts of the Koran that are just as outdated and chauvinistic and not really realistic in our modern age. Maybe there should be more people willing to let these antiquated religions evolve, much like they did when they were being created and then it would be easier to see the beauty within.
I do think Islam, in the current form, is not compatible with the modernity.
Neither is any other Abrahamic religion, but the others have clashed with modernity and consequently got hammered by it. Besides, most of us are either blase about or utterly disinterested in other Abrahamic religions.
Islam, on the other hand, is a danger to the modern, western social order. If anyone thinks otherwise they either never lived under Islam, or never fully contemplated the consequences of this to their freedom of thought and expression.
Either Muslims will deal with this and have some mental maturation and chill out a bit, or I am afraid the reaction is coming, and it will not be pretty.
I am betting on the latter.
Islam is a challenge because it is NOT Christianity. The west has not really had a religion of substance and size like it. The very difference is the threat.
When I read about the negatives I find it hard to differentiate from Christianity in the way it is practiced and attempts to except it's control.
Maybe the problem is partly that Christians do not see the similarities because they are too deeply immersed in their own world.
This is obviously a hard subject that cannot be solved through a few paragraphs on a platform, but what I want to do here is, not exactly play devil's advocate, but see if we can widen it out beyond just religious doctrine.
A key parallel I would draw in terms of how people can become completely deranged by the message they are presented with is climate change (you could use most any agenda we are bombarded with these days). As much as many may think this does not come with the murderous intent of a Jihadi, you should see some of the actions taken at protests, but more importantly, take a look at how some indigenous people have been wiped out (yes, killed) on the basis of WWF land grabs for 'conservation' purposes. How many environmental warriors call foul on that? How many millions of people are now brainwashed by the 97% consensus to the extent that they accept the resulting deaths from people being unable to afford their energy bills (3,000 pensioners died this past winter because they couldn't afford to heat their homes), they are happy that the energy sector in the UK has seen a 1/3 drop in jobs (i.e. not more jobs as they keep saying will happen), and the devastation that is now taking place in the auto sector, and the ridiculous air tax (they call it carbon tax, but it's air) that is directly resulting in increased poverty. That's all ok, because it fits with their environ'mental' cultism, so you can see how it is not just Muslims that can be subject to falling for absolute BS.
So, why would Muslims be subject to people who would wish to turn their religion into such a destructive force? Well, without going into similar activities in the name of Christianity throughout history, let's look at the middle east as a whole. Since the not so distant past fall of the Ottoman Empire, it has been a litany of dictators and 'meddling' from western interests, whereby the vast majority of the regular folk have been subject to some horrendous treatment, so it's not a great reach to understand how religion can be used as a call to action, no matter how spurious the links. Yes, there are some direct quotes from the Quran that make this easy, but the same can be said of most any religious scripture.
Now, when we are faced with the knowledge and direct experience of what this then results in, i.e. terrorist attacks, it surely doesn't take a genius to figure out that the nations being subjected to these attacks would be 'nervous' at best when faced with people from that religion. If those of a Muslim background think this 'nervousness' is irrational, and a 'hate crime', then frankly I would question what their motives are, because any common sense individual would surely understand why there would at the very least be trepidation.
If someone wants to look at the culture of the Muslim nations and appreciate this culture, that's ideal and something that should apply to any nation or culture, but to think that this overrides the negative hijacking through extremism is to be equally deranged.
There's a hell of a lot to this on both sides.
While claiming to be a religion of peace the violence of the minority is rarely if ever condemned by the supposedly peaceful majority of Muslims.
Muslims do not assimilate when they emigrate to the USA. The continually agitate for changes to make the USA more Muslim.
Muslim treatment of women is deplorable as is their handling of homosexuals.
That about wraps it up.