This was written by an anonymous writer ("a long-time resident in the Muslim world") a few years ago (Oct 2001). It's just as valid now as it was when it was first written (all emphasis therein is mine):
After much research and thought, I have come to understand the Islamic concept of peace as something like this:
Peace comes through submission (Islam).
This submission, of course, is submission to Muhammad and his concept of Allah in the Quran, in other words, Islam.
Theoretically, peace exists inside Dar ul-Islam, the House of Submission. I say theoretically, because we all know that Muslims, even though they are not supposed to, do fight fellow Muslims. The most recent examples are the civil war in Afghanistan between the Pushtuns on one side and the Northern Alliance (Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc.) on the other. Other recent exceptions were the Iraqi attack on Iran, the Iraqi attack on Kuwait, the West Pakistani attack on East Pakistan which subsequently became Bangladesh, the Yemeni Civil War with Egypt and Saudi Arabia interfering, the civil war in Algeria, the war between Morocco and Algeria over the Saharan Republic, etc.
Peace with pagans, that is, not the People of the Book, is impossible, as they are all to be given a chance to accept Islam or be killed. This is illustrated by the recent killing of pagans in the South Sudan by northern Muslims attempting to impose Islamic Law on them, the killing of non-Muslims in Northern Nigeria by Muslims attempting to impose Islamic law on them, the attacks of the northern Muslims on the southern pagans in Chad with Gaddafi interfering, etc.
With regard to Christians and Jews, they, too, are to be fought against until they are subdued and feel themselves subdued -- that is found in Quran 9:29 (Yousuf Ali). Illustrations of this are also in Sudan, Nigeria, Chad, Indonesia and smaller atrocities against Christians in Egypt, and the heinous repression of all Christian activity in Saudi Arabia by the Wahhabis.
Muslim have to fight on until there is "no more tumult or oppression" Quran 2:190-193, Q. 9:5 (Yousuf Ali).
To say that Islam is a religion of peace is not true. Islam is committed to war by both the example of Muhammad who fought on until he subdued Mecca and then other tribes, and by the Quranic teaching itself, plus numerous references in the Hadith.
Perhaps a quote from Amir Tahiri, the editor of Politique International of Paris would be illustrative of the current state of affairs. He says of the 30 wars going on at the present time (October 2001), 28 involve Muslim people fighting either non-Muslims or even other Muslims! The Quran, by the way, teaches that Muslims are never to initiate war. But Islam has a strange way of explaining this. For example, Muslims are supposed to offer non-Muslims an opportunity to embrace Islam. If the non-Muslims refuse, the Muslim thinking is that they have commited aggression against Allah and Islam. Therefore, the Muslim is allowed to fight these aggressors against Allah and Islam until they become Muslims or are killed.
Perhaps the greatest proof that Islam is not a religion of peace is the interpretion of Quran 4:89 that says if anyone wants to leave Islam (turns renegade) he is to be put to death. This makes it the religion of fear, not peace.
There will be war in the world as long as people believe in Muhammad, his example and his teaching.
The Islamic concept of peace, meaning making the whole world Muslim, is actually a mandate for war.