In a historic context, I know that Islam began around the year 610 in the Arabian penninsula, when the prophet Muhammad began preaching the revelation that he supposedly received from God when he was 40 years old.
I also know that much like Christianity, it's spread was helped in large part due to a variety of armed empires and dynasties who spread out conquering surrounding areas in order to further their goal of subjugating as many people as possible . The Umayyad caliphate (and other successive ones) were particularly successful in propagating the faith by treating all non-Muslims in the region as second class citizens.
That's a very brief synopsis on the origins of Islam.
More important than that, is that I view Islam in the same way that I view every other monotheistic and Abrahamic religion of the world : As a putrid cancer that not only hinders our advancement as a species by attempting to permanently shackle us to our primitive past, but as the ultimate form of both mental slavery, and pure evil.