One of the things I find most admirable about Islam is its openness. As a faith, it freely welcomes converts from all races, sexes, ethnicities — literally any human being who wishes to become a Muslim can readily do so.
Other faiths aren’t quite so hospitable.
I briefly looked into converting to Judaism. It ain’t easy. If you aren’t born a Jew, you have to study and take classes and even after all that, you still have to persuade a rabbi to accept you as a Jew.
Christianity is a touch easier, but you still have to work a bit. Simply declaring yourself a Christian doesn’t quite cut it. You still ought to attend your church regularly, pronounce your faith, and abide by the tenets on a regular basis.
But Islam is much, much simpler. All you have to do is make the declaration of faith — “I attest that there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is His prophet” — and you’re in.
Islam is truly a univeral religion; it is not the exclusive property of any single race, sex, color, ethnicity, or age group.
Which means that when someone criticizes Islam, to denounce them as a “racist” is being, at best, an idiot — and at worst, trying to suppress and silence the critic.
And while I’m on the subject, I think it is fair to refer to Islam as the “Roach Motel” of religions — people check in, but they can’t check out. It is the only major religion in the world today that treats “apostasy” — leaving the faith — as a capital offense, and practices that today.
As I said, Islam has several things more than worthy of admiration. It’s just that there are too many other things about it that deeply bother me — and, to an extent, frighten me.