Okay, here's a basic run-down of what I think, comparing Islam and Christianity, at this juncture. Of course, I have not finished reading the Qur'an or re-reading the Bible, so I will reserve my final opinion for that. If you find anything that I relate as negative, please be assured that it is not my opinion of Muslim people. I like you all very much. : )
Disclaimer aside, now...
Thus far, despite the claims of my Muslim friends here and at the masjid, and the constant refrain of "compassionate and merciful" that prefaces any Muslim book/article, I have not seen the Islamic Allah to be like the kind, loving, and truly merciful God I have always been taught about. He seems more like a God who can hardly wait to mete out punishment to the "unbelievers". In the second sura, my understanding at one point was that Allah had already decided who would and would not be a Muslim, and therefore was going to punish the non-Muslims for not being Muslim, although he'd made the choice of their religion! (Mind you, this is me paraphrasing, since I can't remember word for word.)
Another thing I'm having trouble with are the constant commands to "fear and obey Allah". To me it seems that the worship of Allah is based upon fear, and that the relationship is a master/slave one. I have yet to see anything that is to be done out of LOVE of Allah, rather than "fear and obey".
Also, when Gabriel supposedly revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad, why did he command him to "Read!" over and over again, despite the fact that the guy was scared out of his wits, not to mention illiterate? Now, I totally believe that God can make great leaders/prophets/whatever out of the blind/deaf/dumb/illiterate - He did so in the Bible. But when Gabriel appeared to others (Mary, and other folks I know I'm currently forgetting), he told them "Do not be afraid" and then delivered his message. Why didn't he do so with Muhammad?
In my search for information to determine whether or not the Qur'an is, as constantly claimed by Muslims, the perfect, unchanged and utterly correct "Last Revelation of Allah", the Qur'an has been shown to conflict with what we know from modern science on some points. Also, the Qur'an was not written all in Arabic - the language was too limited (no Arabic words for some things), so Farsi and a handful of other languages were dipped into, to cover the deficiency.
Muhammad's attitude towards women bothered me, too. I don't remember if I've written this before, so I'll go ahead and (possibly) repeat myself. Yes, okay, he was progressive when it came to women inheriting property, payment of dowries, etc. Got that. But his personal attitude left something to be desired. He said that women were deficient in intelligence and deficient in religion. In regards to religion, it was because women couldn't fast during their periods, which is a natural biological function created by God. I don't remember what the "deficient in intelligence" story was, but that was a reason given by Muhammad for women not getting an equal inheritance as men, and he repeated the comment more than once.
Now, the following are things I picked up from Dr. Gabriel's book:
Muhammad really was not a peaceful guy, and he didn't live a peaceful life. After he'd covered Arabia and subdued or converted the few rebel groups left, he SOUGHT OUT other countries (Sudan was one of them, I recall). He sent them letters, demanding that they submit to Islam and acknowledge Allah and Muhammad as Allah's Prophet, or he would wage war upon them. These were countries that, at the time, were minding their own business, and he was jonesing for a fight, so he went after them.
Jesus, on the other hand, told his followers that "he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword" (when one of his apostles cut off the Roman guy's ear in the garden, trying to stop them from taking Jesus to Pilate). Yes, I know, Jesus also said that he did not come to bring peace, but that parents, children, friends and all would take up swords against each other. This was because He knew that His message would divide families and friends between those who believed what He taught, and those who didn't. Dr. Gabriel's own experience (his father immediately pulled a gun and fired five shots at him after learning his son had converted to Christianity), and the thousands of other stories we hear like it have illustrated that point. Unlike Muhammad, though, Jesus preached His message and moved on if no one would listen. He didn't try to force anyone to accept Him or His message, which is in pretty stark contrast to what I've read of Muhammad.
Dr. Gabriel invites anyone and everyone to check his information - which has been historically documented, not a pro-Christian/anti-Islam fabrication from one person.
One thing he wrote really stood out in my mind. He questioned a teacher at Al-Azhar (a guy who later was found to have masterminded the '93 WTC bombings) about why he never spoke about the Qur'an's messages on peace and loving others. His (now former) teacher replied, "'There is an entire sura devoted to "The Spoils of War". There is no sura called "Peace".'"
Although most of the Muslims I've met have been nothing but kind and generous (may they be blessed for putting up with all of my questions!), I find the roots of the religion are disturbing to me, although some points within it (like the lovely hijab) are certainly worth adopting.
Likewise, I've met many "cultural Christians" - people who are Christian only by association with the culture in which they were raised, not true believers - or people who claim to be Christian and attend church, etc, but they are not God-like in their behavior, though the roots of Christianity (Jesus' message) are those of peace, love, and forgiveness.