1. Give up the idea that the Quran is the most beautiful poetry ever written, the most perfect Arabic ever set to ink, the closest we can approach God in the scheme of time. Are you inhaling this stuff or just smoking? You have two hundred poets whose Arabic is better, any one of which could have won in a slam-down with Gabriel.
2. For all I know, Mecca is a lovely place. But get a second archaeological opinion on the Kaaba and especially that Neolithic outcrop, the jamarat, where people get trampled to death every year at the Haj trying to throw one last stone at the stone devils before curfew tolls and they have to board the bus. (Most recent tragedy, 2006: a stampede killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured at least 289 more.) –-Better now that the pillars have been hidden from view behind a wall, but still a pretty dubious ritual. My suggestion: learn to throw rocks at your politicians and hateful, firebrand illiterate mullahs who keep you from being nice chaps, really.
3. Let your women get an education. Admit that the most ordinary housewife who chooses to wear hijab to keep her husband and eldest son happy is smarter than the average imam. Don’t cut off people’s legs for adultery. Stop the stoning. Stop saying that cliterodectomy is un-Islamic, or rather shout it out and mean it. Don’t throw battery acid in girls’ faces for consorting with boys en route to school. Stop torching the schools.
4. If you think everyone in the religious world is evil and that you alone possess the key to truth, maybe a nice debating club would provide sufficient technology and less loss of life than your current plan. You really are making a lot of enemies this way—I have to be honest.
5. Stop promoting fallacies and false history. Medieval Arabic science was truly remarkable. Philosophy and medicine especially, and physics, not to be sneezed at. Now teach the real reasons the Islamic star ceased to shine brightly–dynastic feuding, internecine violence, a vilification of secular and scientific learning that continues today–and no fair jumping ahead to the Crusades or the colonial period for your answer. In general, the crusaders were far too stupid to pick up anything along the route to Jerusalem except diseases and by the time colonialism comes into view Islamic learning had been in eclipse for five hundred years.
6. Stop whingeing about how people who “blaspheme” or defame Islam are the “source” of violence within Islam. Here is a cart.
7. Stop blowing yourself up and calling the killing of your friends and neighbours “martyrdom.”
Nobody else is doing this. You are. In general, I don’t have an opinion on the wisdom of cultivating religious doctrine through suicide bombing, but I tend to think it’s counterproductive and immensely stupid, don’t you?
If the early Christians had tried this against their pagan persecutors in the marketplaces of the Roman world there’d be no one left to tell their story. If this had been the tactic of the medieval bishops against the heretics and Jews, guess who would have come out on top?