When you read an article on Islam, pay attention to following points:
1. Logical errors: articles defending Islam have a logic all their own. With a little practice you can spot logical errors a mile off. Two examples: (1) an article on Jihad, saying that violence can be used only in self-defense. The same article states that if Muslims attack, they must first invite the infidels to Islam. What happened to “only in self-defense”? (2) Another article states that the Quran is based on the principle of equality between men and women, although the same paragraph states that the man is responsible for everything and his wife is responsible for nothing. What kind of equality is that?
2. Generally accepted concepts have a different meaning in Islam. Three examples: (1) Justice. Justice in Islam means applying the laws of Allah. For example, a man has more rights than a woman and a Muslim more rights than a non Muslim. Thus men, women and infidels having equal rights constitutes an “injustice”. (2) Peace. Peace in Islam is only possible if Islam rules the whole world. Therefore, Jihad has to be waged, a war against non-Muslims, until Islamic law applies everywhere. Hence, Jihad is war to establish peace. (3) Islam is against corruption. At first one thinks this means the taking of bribes and so on. However, this concept did not exist at the time of the emergence of Islam. In Islam, corruption means that Muhammad or Islam is insulted, that the spread of Islam is slowed down, that girls aren’t allowed to wear a veil at school or that someone leaves Islam. Our website is an example of corruption. 3. An article about a certain topic gives a long list of statements that may be correct but are totally irrelevant to the topic. They usually do this to deflect attention from a violent or troublesome subject, and to leave a positive impression in its stead. 4. Quranic Verses from the days when Muhammed lived in Mecca are used preferentially: he was a spiritual leader with few followers, had absolutely no power, and his message was: threatening with hell; giving exhortations; a positive attitude towards Jews and Christians that he thought he could easily persuade to become Muslims; everyone should believe what he wants (freedom of religion, you know), ...
5. Articles generally avoid use of Quranic verses from the time when Muhammad lived in Medina, when he had become a political and military leader, had growing power, and brought a message that reflected this. Violence is an important part of that message, especially chapters 8 and 9 and part of chapter 2 from verse 190 on. Fighting against the infidel enemy was prescribed. It was now clear that Muhammad was against the Jews and Christians because they did not recognize him as a Prophet, ...
6. The concealment of Quranic verses or parts thereof that "neutralize" peaceful verses : eg 5.32 is a popular verse which says that whoever kills one person, it is as if he killed all of humanity (“killing is clearly forbidden in Islam”) whereas verse 5.33 is certainly never mentioned, as it says that those who oppose Allah and Muhammad must be slain, or other severe punishments should be applied. Read more here.
7. The use of weak traditions/hadith about Jihad. For clarity, weak traditions have no basis for any discussion about Islam.
8. Shifting the burden of proof to the reader, eg. by stating that there has not been reported a single case in which Muhammad issued the death sentence for apostasy. Then it is up to the reader to come up with such a case. Those cases exist, but the reader might not know them.
9. The confusion between Christianity and Islam, and Muslims and Christians. When it is suggested that Islam was created through violence, Muslims point to the Crusades, which were certainly very bloody. They forget, however, that the example of Muhammad is guidance for all Muslims, while for Christians the example of the crusaders is not. No Christian will feel insulted if you say that the crusaders were very violent; but try to mention Muhammad’s violent ways, and you will get a guaranteed ... violent reaction.
10. Culture. When it is pointed out that Muhammad married a six year old girl and that he consummated his marriage with her when she was nine and he was over fifty, Muslims claim that this was normal in the culture at that time. Indeed Muhammed did not get rid of this bad custom. Muhammad did abolish some bad customs, including the killing of newborn girls, which were current in some Arab tribes. But Muhammad also abolished good habits such as considering adoption to be equivalent to blood relations. He did this in order to marry his daughter-in-law after his adopted son had divorced her, which at the time created an incredible scandal. The shame was so great that Muhammad had to “get revelations”, that can be found in the Quran to this day, to justify his actions. These are in Surah / Chapter 33 of the Quran. Muhammad thus follows the culture of his time when he wants to marry a six-year old girl, but doesn’t follow his culture when he wants to marry his daughter-in-law. Another good law was the annual truce: there was no fighting in his region for least four months each year. He broke this law to attack his ennemies from Mecca, ... Basically, Muhammed did what suited him, and if what he did was not approved by the local culture he would make new laws. No sane Muslim in the 21st century will marry a 9 year old girl. The laws in most Islamic countries stipulate that a girl can’t marry before 16. Yet Islamic scholars still try to reverse those laws, based on the example of Muhammad.