The Arabic word ‘Islam’ in the religious context means ‘submission to the will of God’. There is a single, all-powerful God who is merciful, just, omnipotent. He speaks to humans through prophets. He creates, guides and directs all things. As with the other two Abrahamic religions life is linear, starting with birth and finishes with death. Individuals have to face the ‘Day of Judgement’. Islam is an exclusive religion. It does not accept the possibility of any other god(s) of any kind.
From earliest times Muslim states have been involved in warfare. The concept of ‘jihad’ makes religious struggle a duty. Numerous conquest wars as well as armed anti-colonial military campaigns were waged as jihads. The two main sects within Islam, Sunni and Shia, agree on most of the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam but are bitterly divided by specific ideology. Islamic thinking is unlikely to change to become inclusive and tolerant of divergent ideas.