I am a practising Sikh from Canada, of Afghan descent, and I've always been very interested in joining this forum after watching your YouTube videos online. What I really like about the videos - is that they are quite neutral and balanced. They don't portray all Muslims as jihadists in sheep's clothing practising "taquiyya" - the notion that many neo-con ultras follow. Nor do they portray Islam as a benign ideology which is immune to criticism - as many leftists do.
What interests me about Islam in particular - is that there has been much interaction between Muslims and Sikh's since the time of Guru Nanak. Sikh philosophy is quite similar to sufi-ism, and Guru Nanak was actually said to have visited mecca with his Sufi companions. Nonetheless, there were also period's of history where Sikh's were put under immense persecution under the Mughal empire.
I grew up having a hatred of Muslims. As a child I remember going to the gurdwara, and seeing pictures and hearing stories of 'shaheeds' being tortured to death for refusing to convert to Islam. Also, my parents were both forced to leave Afghanistan in the early 90's.
My views have changed considerably over the last few years. Although, i'm still not particularly fond of Islam as an ideology, I understand that there are various interpretations of the qu'ran and the hadith, and Muslim's perhaps suffer the most as a result of Islamism. Although I am still a person of faith, I have become a very liberal minded, and I often spend much of my time on Sikh forums arguing in favour of re-interpretations of old theology & against the concept of a "Khalistan".
I am currently reading Maajid Nawaz's book "Radical" , and I have just ordered Irshad Manji's book "The Trouble with Islam today". I also attend many events organised by both the atheist and islamic societies at my university - to broaden my understanding and to increase my knowledge.
I hope to interact with many like minded individuals on this forum.