American patriots admire the Founding Fathers. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and created the first real democratic constitutional republic in all human history. The founders had differences, but shared an overwhelming desire for national self-determination based on cooperation, not coercion, and a desire for limited government.
Patriots who admire Washington and Jefferson and Adams and Henry and Madison and Hamilton do NOT emulate them or seek to emulate them, nor are the Founders held up as saints, prophets, or perfect men in any way.
They are admired and thanked for their good efforts while their character deficits are generally set-aside. Washington and Jefferson were slave-owners, for example, an attribute of these two giants which no patriot admires - or seeks to emulate.
The fact that a billion Muslims admire Mohamed, PBUH is not major a problem for non-muslims.
What is a problem for non-muslims are the many thousands, (or many hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions of muslims), who seek to emulate their prophet - who seek spread islam by the sword... the sword emblazoned on the flag of the Saudi Kingdom.
This is what motivates the jihado-terrorists. Muslims who emulate their prophet cannot logically be called distorters of islam: if Mohamed PBUH practiced islam using the sword, and since he originated islam, then the using the sword to spread islam and its supremacist teachings cannot be called unislamic.
The chief of ISIS and the Caliphate - al Baghdadi- is a college educated islamic scholar.
If muslims were to teach in all mosques and madrassas and colleges and universities that emulating their prophet was no longer proper, then they might crush jihado-terrorism.
Muslims might be able to do this if they adopted the same attitude toward their prophet as American patriots have toward the founding Fathers - and Jews have toward their Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac an Jacob. None are considered perfect men whose ancient lives should be now emulated in every way, in our modern age.
If muslims could ever accept - and teach - that what Mohamed, PBUH did then was right for his times, but not right for our times - and that islam's supremacist teachings cannot be spread by coercion now, (even though it has been for the last 1400 years), then I think a reform of islam is possible.
Muslims would have to interpret their holy books prescriptive teachings in ways which are adapted to the contemporary world. They would have to teach that the teachings about their prophet's wars are descriptive, not prescriptive.
This would mean that they would have to teach that Mohamed, PBUH was not perfect for all time, perhaps - for muslims - just in his time.
This should be possible in any God-centered monotheistic faith. For example, Roman Catholics don't worship the Pope, nor do Catholics emulate him - (most marry, for example), though many admire him.
In the Judeo-Christian world, only G-d is perfect; no man is - not even our prophets.
So it could be with Mohamed, PBUH: Muslims could admire and revere him without believing that his life must be emulated or that the most pious muslims are those that live and act as he did.
In a way, this would amount to the de-mohamedanization of islam, and it is not likely to occur, but if it could occur then the jihado-terrorists might be marginalized theologically.
AND ANOTHER THING: one might also argue that since Mohamed, PBUH had neither guns, or bombs, or jets, that jihado-terrorists who use these and other modern weapons, and cellphones, and cars, SUV's, tanks, videos etc - are not emulating him at all.
If I were to see a strong movement within islam - coming from the House of Saud and Al-Azhar University and the Supreme Council of Iran - calling for muslims to halt their emulations of their prophet, then I might start to believe that islam can co-exist with non-muslims.
Short of that, I see no way for humanity to avoid an all out war - and I shudder to think what it will take for it to breakout on all fronts, with no holds barred.... an eventuality we seem to be headed for... because I seriously doubt that the Salafists or Wahhabists or Q'tubists will ever be reformed.... and unless they are soon eradicated, and because their power seems to be growing - and their weapons seem to be getting ever more terrifying - we seem to be headed for the most violent global conflagration of all time...
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?