However, before we begin converting by the hundreds, we should probably ask ourselves, "What is Islam?" Although I think what most people mean with this question is, "What's wrong with Islam?" I don't imagine anyone actually cares about the spiritual life of some sand-colored weirdo who thinks it's cool to hang out in the desert and put your hair in a towel.
Bus seriously, Islam. What is it? Does it involve magical genies that grant wishes and help get poor people laid, like the movie Aladdin suggests? Is the threat of the Dagger of Time a concern Muslims have grown accustomed to, or does it strike them with just as much fear now as it did when Prince of Persia first came out? What is the theological understanding of mummies?
First, we must address Islam's founder, an infamous Mr. Muhammad. From what you have probably heard, he was a powerful warlord, which is a pretty badass occupation for a holy man. However, at this time in history, virtually anyone with any sort of power was a warlord. To give him credit for being a warlord would be like giving Sarah Palin credit for knowing how to read, at least in theory.
What's more, Muhammad rose to power by mediating disputes between Medina's tribes. Rather than just punching people he didn't like in the face, like a warlord should, he decided to instead help them settle their differences with words and come together as a community. That makes Muhammad as badass as a summer camp counselor.
I suppose Islam would still have some claim to being the toughest, manliest religion out there, as long as they got over the "let's hug each other" aspects and moved on to straighter ways of thinking. The main thing that might give us hope is that awesome jihad thing they have going on.
Unfortunately, that's even more disappointing than Muhammad's warlord career. You see, whilejihad has been interpreted as "holy war" or "an excuse to blow shit up," the word actually has a much less awesome meaning. It actually refers to striving towards good rather than evil, which included the fight to preserve the Islamic state, sure, but nowadays refers to a more personal battle.
Of course, the truth about Islam's lameness is hard to reconcile with the very badass Muslims out there. However, it seems as though terrorists in all places are blowing stuff up. Irish freaks have been doing it for years. Tree huggers do it too. Even the Japanese have been known to dabble in terrorism. But you don't see people arguing that Irishness, or environmental friendliness, or even whatever the hell Japanese people care about (squid porn?) is inherently explosive and awesome.
Therefore, I say we stop giving all the credit for Al-Qaeda's clearly badass behavior to Islam. Obviously, the behavior of the plane-hijacking human bombs is the exception, not the rule. If anything, we should be honoring Al-Qaeda for turning something as peaceful as a religion founded to stop pointless fighting into something a real man could be proud to call his own. That has to be their greatest accomplishment yet.