Islam is not homogeneous. Its complexity, however, is bewildering for non-Muslims, most of whom know little or nothing of Islam, and generally – like Pope Francis – see it as a peace-loving religion. Others find this claim difficult to accept in the light of the violence and cruelty perpetrated in the name of Allah by Muslim fighters against innocent fellow citizens who are not Muslims, and also against many fellow Muslims. Paul Stenhouse’s deep scholarly interest in Samaritan history and traditions has taken him on intellectual and literary paths ‘continually crisscrossed by Islam and its Quran, Islamic Law and Islamic history’. Here, he seeks to offer some light on the background to tragic events unfolding throughout the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, and Central and Southeast Asia, as well as in the USA, Europe, the UK and Oceania.