As it was said before, try listening to things on both ends before you make up your mind about any religion :)
I have listened to experts on both sides. I've watched debates on YT such as this
Call me crazy but Ayaan Hirsi Ali destroys her opponents in debates every time. Every time.
There's also conflicting stories regarding Muhammad. Most apologists say he was a very peaceful man who was the victim of persecution by Jews and Christians, so he finally acted out of self-defense and remained graceful in his justice that he inflicted upon them. I bet those heads on pikes looked rather graceful indeed.
Then there's stories that claim him to be a bloodthirsty warlord and a pedophile(usually Aisha is mentioned in this case) who could only get his way once he started using war and deceit. He ambushed caravans of those he promised not to touch, murdered, and even raped tc. And many of his men did the same, following his example. Because war booty is war booty, and you can do with it whatever you want.
We can be certain in only one thing, Quran was written by a Muslim. I read somewhere that it was actually written AFTER Muhammad passed away since Muhammad was allegedly illiterate, and then others say that it was written by Muhammad, despite him being illiterate. Well, maybe he dictated it while one of his Muslim friends wrote it. I don't know. But my point here is that since it was written by Muhammad or another Muslim, or at least a Muslim symphathiser, of course it will try to portray Muhammad and Allah in the best light possible... for that given time. But does it really tell us the whole story? Was Muhammad really the one persecuted or was he the one that got so mad at Jews for not accepting him as a new prophet among a line of Jewish prophets, that he decided to kill them all?
But let's assume there's an equal amount of opponents and supporters among the experts on whether Islam is a religion of peace or not, and both come up with sound arguments and we reach a stalemate. What do?
Well, you could look at the Quran yourself and again, BEHEADING and finger-chopping stares right in your face. Nobody does such stuff in 'self-defense'. That's the God of the Old Testament rearing his ugly head again, with his immorally vengeful ways. For a book of self-defense it still has awfully many lines about war and how to treat your enemy. There's literally an obsession with the Jihad in the Quran. Like I've said before if the two 'Qurans' were separated, we wouldnt' be having so many debates. One Quran for the peaceful Muslims that speaks of the religion, and one Quran where he kills and beheads Jews for being infidels as another Quran, so we could study them separately.
Then another thing we could do is look at what is happening today. Muslims are the ones causing most problems, not Christians, nor Hindus.
I in particular quoted acts of violence by other religions specifically due to this. The problem I found in this thread was that people seemed to be of the view that Islam is the base of corruption. And since its not perfect (thus not being a word of god). I ask you this, who did they adopt this religion from?
It's a religion of a self-proclaimed prophet who has the audacity to tell Christians their Jesus was not the Son of God but only a prophet whose message is not as powerful as his, and the audacity to tell the Jews that he is their new and last prophet and they should convert to Islam instead of following their old ways or else... He also brought in polygamy which did not exist in either Judaism or Christianity. Yeah, he tells you to respect a woman but at the same time I remember some verses in the Quran seem to imply women are no more than prized pets.
Of course this is mostly my personal view. I'm not trying to attack anyone specifically here, just stating my opinion after what I've seen, read and heard about Islam. I realise many Muslims were raised believing Muhammad was the perfect man and he never really committed any horrible crimes, and merely acted out of self-defense. But I'd like more clarity.
Islam isn't really a big thing here in Australia
Anyway, I'll check out Dr Zakir Naik, as darkangel suggested. See what he has to say.