Militants and terrorist say they are following the Quran in word and spirit, that they are the best of the believers in imitating the Prophet, who is referred to as the best example to follow.
The verses of the Quran from Mecca are peaceful. The verses in Surahs of Medina have violence.
Medina is of a later time period when the prophet moved from Mecca to Medina, where an increasing number of tribal warlord type battles were fought.
You can Google violent verses of Quran and find those chapters (Surahs) are from Medina.
The problem is that Quran states that later (violent) verses overrule the earlier (peaceful) verses if they are contradictory.
The context of these verses is given in the stories narrated in the Hadiths (books) to make sense of them.
There are many powerful tribal warlord type offensive battles/conquests described in the Hadiths of the Prophet’s life in Medina, in addition to the defensive battles with the Quresh of Mecca. Lookup Banu Qurayza - the massacre and beheadings of Jews supposedly by the Prophet and his commanders.
But was it the Prophet who went on these attacks or were the descriptions of his generals who later became the Caliphs (Muslim ruler)?
I know that angel Gabriel, as a messenger of a loving God; and the pious, humble, devoted, peaceful, and pure Prophet, could not have conveyed these "kill them", "strike them on the neck" verses, no matter what the context or interpretation (which is generally blamed). In my understanding, a just and loving God, does not torture, punish and condone massacres, it is man who uses the name of God to justify his own evil.
The Caliphs were conquerors and used religion, i.e., Islam, to increase their power. The 3rd caliph many years after the Prophet got the Quran and Hadiths compiled. Till then the verses and stories were all verbal. There is no proof of the original verses and stories being converted to written form accurately. It is only a belief passed down over hundreds of years and the truth may have been lost. Recently many versions of the Quran's manuscript were found in Yemen, and elsewhere.
Ali compiled a complete version of the Quran, mus'haf, six months after the death of Muhammad. The volume was completed and carried by camel to show to other people of Medina. The order of this mus'haf differed from that which was gathered later during the Uthmanic era.
So it confirms that the verbal word could not have been converted exactly into written word, there are contradictions in the manuscript versions found. It's available online. The 3rd Caliph, Uthman, was very keen on converting the verbal form into a cemented written form which he repeatedly used to justify his violent conquests and oppression. Imam Ali, (the spiritual head of Islam, the son-in-law of the prophet, and the 4th Caliph) often opposed the Caliph saying that it was not said by the prophet nor were these violent acts condoned by any word of God.
The problem is that many militants and terrorists today act very similar to the Caliphs and their army. They quote these violent verses of the Quran, and justify their actions from scholarly interpretations, and stories of the Hadiths of the Prophet who went on wars. But are they following the Prophet or some commander? Was the Prophet's name used in place of commanders?
As you know the Bible was changed by Constantine to use religion for his power and conquests.
Quran states that the Bible was changed, and therefore no one can touch a single letter of the Quran, Hadiths, or Sharia (Muslim law). Separately, shouldn't constitutions and laws that govern man be amendable, and changeable according to time and place? Would we want laws from the dark ages unchangeable and applied to this century or would we want laws to change as man evolves?
I believe the Prophet was peaceful and loving. The generals and Caliphs were violent and used religion for power. My findings have led me to believe that the peaceful verses alone were the word of God.
Many flowers have been crushed before they could blossom. A flower is soft, gentle, fragrant and beautiful, yet considered weak and irrelevant in a world where physical strength, mind, and ego dominate. When there is dis-balance in nature, there comes suffering and then a correction to re-balance. There are matriarchal and patriarchal cultures in the world, but for a long time now the male dominated cultures have been more prominent. Women have come to sacrifice themselves for men to learn lessons from abuse and injustice towards them.
In the Vedic and other ancient traditions, the masculine and feminine principles have been considered complimentary halves of duality, Shiv and Shakti, or Yin and Yang. The divine feminine is not related to gender or genitals, it is the feminine qualities of creativity, patience, forbearance, nurturing, motherly love, inner strength, spiritual power, surrender and sacrifice. The masculine is that of logic, intellect, decision making, being objective, outer strength, power and authority. Similar to the left brain. A man can have feminine qualities dominant, and vice-versa. Some people have an equal balance of both. In this very masculine world, there has been little appreciation for her inner power and qualities.
Now nature is bringing back the balance by raising the feminine Shakti principle. The Earth is being viewed as Mother Gaia. We are moving from the ego framework of service to self, to heart virtues like service to others. You see women in movies being given the role of the protagonist, and not just being used for their bodies. We see women’s opinions are being given more respect in society, and their voices are heard. There is growing acceptance of women breaking free from control and dominance by male members of their family to choose what they want to do in life, get educated, and have a career if they like. It is no longer the case that women have to live in a shadow, though in some places on earth they are still treated worse than animals. With the balance of male-female coming back to earth, relationships are becoming supportive and true partnership, like two parts of a soul.