In Islamic Contributions to Civilization, the great Baha'i Scholar Stanwood Cobb noted that without Islam*, we would have lost much of the Ancient Greek and Oriental Science destroyed in the European and Roman (c. Justinan et al) book-burning, dark ages; this knowledge is the basis and foundation of much of today's STEM. Click the links above to read the full text here right now. 
Almost all modern math, technology, astronomy, medicine and science come from the innovation and preservation of these earlier discoveries, as well as new knowledge, brought and preserved by Islam and carried to us through the European dark ages via Islam in the Turks and Moors, as well as Sicily. "Conterro" is a Spanish-Moors word from those times that orginally meant that God "Is with the Earth" and "Supports the Earth" in Arabic.
So, how can a Faith so enlightened and educated condone the beheading of children and the subjugation of women? In a word, it doesn't! Just like in other religions, self-consumed, misguided, money motivated and authority-crazed male clerics and leaders have perverted the Prophet's Faith into violence for their own greed, and materialistic rather than spiritual goals.
The Quran clearly states "There shall be NO COMPULSION in religion" (2:256) and "Say to the disbelievers 'To you, your beliefs, to me, mine'" (109:1-6). This is because the highest creation of God is free will-- even in human engineering, autonomous robots require the most skill! Allah does NOT want or condone coercion, it is, simply, skilless, and He is most Skillful in His Designs . Islam is NOT some cult that lacks the subtlety of choice, nor has it ever condoned violence other than in self defense, as is the case in all other religions, including Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian and Judaic.
The truth is that in this NEW century, we are beyond the need for any male clerics or leaders, in any religion, telling us what to believe! We can read and see, each for ourselves, in this age, for our own, and our family's, spiritual benefit or loss. "Hell is for the violent." In fact, the oft-quoted verse in the Quran (9:5) that advises, in self defense, to "kill polytheists" misses the point of the original term (Mushrikin), which meant "those who add gods to God, those who join partners with God, and those who stand between the believer and God."
Even 1,400 years ago, that was interpreted as clerics-- not originally priests, but also mullahs, who claimed "authority" to tell us what to believe! Male leaders, clerics, authorities, etc. who tell young believers to commit violence under this Surah are actually referring to themselves! "Kill those Mushrikin (leaders) who try to tell you what to do or believe." By "interpreting" Allah's Word, they are the Mushrikin who are interposing themselves between Allah and the believer, and are therefore adding gods to God, as well as joining parnters with Him!
*All footnotes and sources are annotated and listed HERE in the BIB section so you can look up the original quotes and citations in the Baha'i Writings and Scriptures, both the New Testament and commentaries by Aquinas, Augustine, etc.; both Sunni and Shia Hadith and the Quran, both Judaic Torah and over 50 volumes of the Mishnah, including wonderful and eclectic intersections between Avicenna and Maimonides, as well as references from The Buddha, Zoroaster and many other of the planet's Beloved Messengers, Prophets and Manifestations.
Note that there is much debate about the Love of God between the religions. Christians claim that Islam is "not as loving" as Christ, yet Islam went to the greatest lengths in recorded history to praise God, His attributes, His Names and His love for His Creation. The hair splitting comes over mercy vs. justice vs. compassion in trying to simultaneously legislate a workable society and still emphasize the Love of God as the primary driver of both science and religion.
Even Judaic tradition often equates the Love of God with Justice as much as Mercy and Compassion, and in fact most Surahs of the Quran begin with the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful, or the Most Merciful of the Merciful, depending on how you parse Rachmaneh/Raheem.
How can terrorists love God and then kill? They can't, and they are not of the grateful or the faithful in following orders to kill. By accepting any authority other than the direct authority of their own loving hearts (as in erroneously following violent Mullas or misguided secular military leaders "using" Islam for their personal ego agendas), they violate Allah's central message of love, and God's central Message in all the religions! THEY are adding gods to God by following leaders who have no right to interpret Islam, and are the true idolaters! How much common sense does it take to equate the Love of Allah with "ahimsa" and nonviolence? Click HERE to see how following "leaders" is destroying Islam, from the inside.
"There is nothing greater or more blessed than the Love of God! It gives healing to the sick, balm to the wounded, joy and consolation to the whole world, and through it alone can man attain to Life Everlasting. The essence of all religions is the Love of God, and it is the foundation of all the sacred teachings."