Question - transition between 3 and 4
Many times when certain barbaric practises that occur only or principally in Muslim societies are brought up (honor killing, forced marriage, etc.) the response is that these are 'cultural survivals' in primitive societies. Yet these societies have been Muslim for centuries. Why has Islam not been able to extirpate this type of primitivism? And why, when civil authorities attempt to move against them, are they so frequently criticized by religious authorities? If Islam is an example of higher values, why does it not fight fiercely to change the ideas of believers in societies which accept such things? Instead, it appears to me too often that, if the society is Muslim, any 'local custom' is accepted.
(Does this have anything to do with the Qur'anic insistence on belief rather than on conduct? Both are mentioned -- as they are by other religions -- but it is the statement that 'Unbelievers go to hell' which is repeated hundreds of time in the Qur'an. Some Christians accept this as well, but the stress there is on 'sinners going to hell.')
Even though I have mentioned other religions in these questions, I am specifically asking about Islam, and hope that the responses will be restricted to that, and that i don't get a chorus of 'well, Christians -- or Jews, or Hindus -- do bad things too.' I am an atheist myself, and could criticize other religions strongly, but it is Islam I am trying to understand, not trying to prosecute.