Yes, Virginia, there is good in just about anything if you look hard enough. Just as the really positive person might find some good in the Swine Flu pandemic, there is good in the Islamic movement. (I've stopped labeling it a "religion". I'm still not sure how much of a "religion" it is because of the overt political methods and violent militarism of its most prominent adherents.) But I digress.
Several of the beliefs and practices of Islam are positives for human survival. (And yes, many of their other beliefs and practices work against human survival, but I digress again.)
These "positives" are:
Islam's moral code and their seriousness about it. Compared to Christians, most Muslims appear to be much more serious about and committed to their moral precepts. While the concept of morality may be dead or dying in the West, it is alive and well among fundamentalist Muslim, but also perverted in the manner they enforce it. While they often take enforcement too far (from a Christian and western cultural perspective), fundamentalist Muslims are no more extreme than the opposite amoral and moral relativist attitudes and behaviours of the growing preponderance of social liberals in the west, including many so-called "Christians." The Islamic moral code and amoral/immoral western behavior is the ying and yang of human existence. I understand that this moral contrast is a significant and effective recruiting/conversion tool of Islam.
Islam's commitment to their religious practices. It is a good, honest, non-hypocritcal thing to be true to what you say you believe. We have to admit that activist Muslims have become aggressive in promoting their beliefs and practices within western society. They are very dedicated to their prayer rituals. They are quite vocal, even characterized as "pushy" when it comes to imposing their customs onto the larger society, e.g. prayer rooms, no alcohol in taxis, wearing of traditional Islamic garb and other Islamic distinctives.
Islam's reproduction rate. The birth rate in Muslim-dominated countries, and in the Muslim demographic generally is several times higher than in non-Muslim countries and demographics. While the non-Muslim populations are stagnant or shrinking, Muslim populations are mushrooming. "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth" is a universal mandate from the antiquities of most of the worlds' major religions. Not many nations populations take this mandate seriously. Muslims do, whether out of religious conviction or some other social cause.
Christianity, by contrast, appears to have lost its momentum. For the most part, its adherants seem to be indifferent, going through the motions, and not really fully engaged in or committed to the beliefs that their orgnizations proclaim. I understand there are exceptions. I speak of the apparent trend.
Islam is the new "growth industry."
All this makes me wonder why so many in our western society have been brandishing so much anti-Christian bias. At the same time, I wonder why there is so much tolerance toward a movement (Islam) whose actions have been so extreme and intolerant.
I'm wondering if there is some kind of sub-conscious sensing in the aggregate human psyche of weakness in the faith of Christians with a subsequent "piling on", much like the problem of bullying in the school yard where the confident bully goes after the recluse meek. Christians have lost their edge, their fire, their commitment to what they believe. They are being bullied and are on the run.
I am looking forward to seeing whatever might change this scenario.