“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. “ (2:256)
It is not the sword which was the reason behind expansion of Islam, but its sword of intellect, convincing arguments as well as power to conquer the heart and mind of the people that convinced the people to embrace the religion around the World.
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best” (16:125)
Many renowned historians have viewed that it is an absurd myth and misconception to denote that acceptance of Islam, making it the second largest religion in the World due to force and coercion. In reality, propogators of Islam including Sufis/Theologians/preachers/traders have successfully percolated the idea of “oneness of God” as connect between “Creation and creator through the Messiah”, universal human bonding and tolerance towards the believers of other faiths among masses. For example, Indonesia, with the largest number of Muslims had never been intruded by any alien Muslim Army. Also, the prominent Muslim Countries, Egypt, Syria, Iraq have a sizable population of Christians and Jews from ancient times while once Muslim dominated Spain, Baltic Countries, Muslims lived peacefully with followers of other faiths. It is also pertinent, that despite century of Muslim hold in India, Hindus have always remained as a majority and it has not been converted to an Islamic State.
Thus, the inner values of Islam like harmony, peace, tolerance etc.. which had made it an universally accepted faith, should be restored and strengthened in order to save it from radicals, terrorists and extremists.