How many times have you heard a variation of the following: "Islam is incompatible with violence. In fact, the word 'Islam' itself means 'peace.'"
I know that I have read such statements many times in news stories. And every time, I know that I am being lied to. "Islam" does not mean "peace," far from it. It means, in fact, "submission." And the mindset of "submission" is fundamentally opposed to that of "peace."
One who seeks peace above all else will avoid conflict, seek to resolve differences with neighbors amicably, and in cases of irreconcilable difference will agree to disagree. One who seeks submission before God, on the other hand, will only be happy when the entire world has submitted to the will of God alongside him. There can be no true compromise with opposing views, since that implies that you are ameliorating your perfect submission to the will of God. There can only be the ultimate goal of final victory.
That Muslims may not want their religion seen this way is understandible. Yet they could simply emphasize the personal aspect of submission, while keeping the societal aspect out of the limelight. Why then do many Muslim spokesmen feel it necessary to deceive the West, in ways that are so easy to disprove, about something so basic as the meaning of a word?
Because once they establish the idea that Islam itself is beyond reproach, then it is child's-play for Salafi jihadists to hide behind Islam as a whole to deflect any legitimate analysis of how their beliefs feed into their violence. In other words, people will be reduced to discussions about "root causes" such as poverty, social alienation, or specifics of foreign policy because the biggest root cause of them all — Salafi jihadism — will be totally off-limits.
Learn about Islam. Know when you are being lied to. Keep track of who the liars are. Understand their purpose. Don't let them get away with it.