Several years ago, I realized there were big holes in my understanding of Islam, that needed to be filled with accurate information. Understanding the scriptures of Islam and how they are interpreted by various groups within the more than 1.3 billion followers seemed more essential to me than ever. This was partly because of the U.S. policy since 9/11 to invade Islamic countries in the Middle East, and destroy their infrastructures and economies, pretending this was being done to "fight terrorism."
Religious terrorism was a calculated result of the US and allied invasions and attacks on Middle East countries, partly because it is condoned and encouraged to be carried out against non-Muslims be the three primary scriptures of Islam. Mohammed explained this in detail and did his best in life to set an example of what should be done (if they won't convert) to non-Muslims, who are called "kafirs." To be able to get through the scriptures (Koran, Sira and Hadith) and clearly understand what they say, in correct context of the time line of Mohammed's life, it really helps, in fact it's essential, to have some guidance with all the specific references put in order and proper relation to each other.
Dr. Bill Warner (www.politicalislam.com), has done this in a form that makes the Islamic scriptures accessible and understandable to anyone. His books, available on the website just mentioned, are highly recommended, not just for non-Muslims, but for everyone who wants to understand Islam from a logical, unbiased and scientific point of view. Most of my Muslim friends, like most of the people I know from other religions, have never fully read their own scriptures, and would benefit greatly from Dr. Warner's books that go thoroughly through all 3 Islamic Scriptures.
Dr. Warner has just completed a new book, Measuring Mohammed, that is sure to add even more depth of understanding of Mohammed and Islam.