So, Juan Cole wrote a new book, "Muhammad as Prophet of Peace." Jason Park, a self-described evangelical Christian, reviewed the book. Juan likes the review. I have issues with it. (Disclosure: I've not read Juan's new book and am only going off the review).
Read the review and then my following quick observations:
Well, Mohammed didn't do modern sharia, but he did do polygamy (only for males), likely also pedophilia, certainly slavery, definitely extortionate taxes, physical warfare (ostensibly defensive only), and war-profiteering (sharing the loot, including people, with his warriors, more like gang followers). I could go on. He also twisted, even rewrote, those parts of the Old Testament (upon which he based his own "religion") to suit his own jealous, tribal, worldly, imperial ambitions. It sure looks more like a racket to me than any sincere religious effort.
Juan Cole's own problem I believe is that Juan can't, among other things, do personal pacifism.
In addition, "evangelical Christians" (being primarily Calvinists: work ethic for personal gain as proof of God's blessings and their salvation) don't savvy good deeds as requisite for salvation but rather focus on "faith alone." They almost wholly ignore James's teaching on the subject, which jibes perfectly with Jesus's: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (James 2:14-17)
Promoting peace is not: "If you hit me, I'll hit you back." Peacemaking is not simply not starting it: the war. War is not peace! Doublespeak is the problem.