Some Christians claim that Allah represents the Mark of the Beast; that the Greek letters for 666 resemble the way Allah is written in Arabic.
I’m no fan of Islam, but demonizing Islam as Satanic and prophesied as the cipher for the Mark of the Beast is paranoid in the sense that it makes Islam’s appeal as a global religion greater than it is.
In Revelation 13, the Mark of the Beast is something everyone receives–but Islam has zero appeal to the Chinese; zero appeal to Christians; zero appeal to Jews; and zero appeal to atheists. It has no power (either financial or ideological) to force its way on others, however ambitious its mission project is.
If anything, Islam is a religion in crisis, struggling for relevance in a world that is rapidly leaving it behind. The broken wheel squeaks loudest.
Islam will always be a religion with more or less one to two billion adherents, at best, and as the 21st century progresses, its violent elements will increasingly peter out.
So one of the grave tragedies of the 21st century is that Christians, Muslims, and Jews demonize one another. Islam is, after all, a product of monotheism. It is yet another iteration on monotheism. In a sense, you can thank Judaism and Christianity for giving us Mohammad. He didn’t hit upon his ideas in a vacuum. They were all around him in his encounters with Judaism and Christianity.
So Islam is a form of fundamentalist and authoritarian monotheism stripped to bare bones for gentiles (God’s words are in a holy book; no image making; women must be under the thumb of men; there is one God, not a trinity; the names for God are the same as those found in other monotheistic holy books generally: Lord of Hosts, Protector, Righteous, etc.).
It was also Islam, it should be recalled, that saved Aristotle for Aquinas, thereby lending support to the intellectual foundations for traditional monotheism.
Thus, from the vantage of a secularist like myself, the clash between Christianity and Islam, aside from being spectacularly dangerous in a world with nuclear weapons, amounts to little more than the narcissism of small differences.