Islam was not spread by sword
The Quran urges Muslims to invite people to the truth with grace, elegance, and wisdom. Muslims are urged to be peaceful in the face of provocation or ridicule by the nonbelievers. This is contrary to the orientalist assertions that Islam inspires its followers to propagate Islam through violence and coercion. The portrayal of Arabs carrying the Quran in one hand and a sword in the other and converting or killing the infidels are distorted historical facts. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/according-to-the-quran_b_9102782
“Quran 16:125…Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious. For, your Lord knows the best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.”
Be peaceful in face of provocation
Pagans of Makkah persecuted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers with physical torture, starvation, social boycott, and killing. To save his own life, the Prophet (PBUH) escaped Makkah and migrate to Madinah. A group of Makkan assassins haunted him while he was traveling hundreds of miles through the desert. In the following years of migration, pagan soldiers from Makkah came to attack Madina and destroy Muslims on multiple occasions.
Despite the persecutions against Muslims, the Quran commanded them not to speak disrespectfully to the pagan religious deities. The Quran commanded the believers not to argue with the nonbelievers except in good manners and wisdom. Muslims were to excuse themselves from a discussion ridiculing Islam rather than engaging in a heated discourse. https://qpeace.net/?p=3120
“Quran 25:63. “..The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk on the earth in humility, and who, when the ignorant ones address them (ridiculing their belief), they reply ‘Peace’…”
“Quran 6:108. ” [Believers], do not insult those who they (nonbelievers) worship besides Allah in case they, in their hostility and ignorance, insult Allah. To each community, We make their own actions seem fair. But in the end, they will return to their Lord, and He will inform them of all they did.”