So when I was younger I was a bit of an idiot and somehow got convinced into converting to Islam after a few of my Muslim "friends" managed to convince me it was right at the time. (It turned out they were involved in the uni's ISoc Dawah stuff so they were fairly seasoned at getting people to convert and I must have been an easy target, a clinically depressed loner)
I still remember the stuff they told me, stuff like how the Koran is backed up by science how they pressured me into taking the shahada (literally "There is plenty of time to learn it all once you convert, if you delay converting then if you die tomorrow you won't make heaven") and once I did do it them and the iman dude were pretty reluctant to let me study it on my own, they kept on texting me asking me to read bits with them not on my own etc.
A few months down the line I did read a decent online translation and I thought what a load of nonsense the science stuff in there is crap and the books they gave me at the start had really suspect translations in there (e.g the section on about foetal development, the Koran literally says Blood clot which is nonsense, but the book had clump of cells which is pretty much a first stage foetus) then you hear about the bits that were obviously made up by Muhammed, he has some pretty convenient revelations in there.
I just wonder if your average born Muslim kid ever gets to read it critically. I remember when I converted the Muslims loved me, a young white British guy from a decent background validated their beliefs, I was invited to people's houses for dinner, I was the talk of the ISoc for months. I actually wonder if they did that to stop me from questioning it....
I dread to think what kids in madrassas are taught
I don't think female circumcision is in the Qur'an, and in the Hadith the Prophet advises practitioners not to cut "severely." Islamic commentators have said that because Islam grants a woman the right to divorce if not sexually satisfied, so therefore women are entitled to sexual pleasure, which would seem to argue against female circumcision. I think it's more likely that fgm came before Islam to cultures that eventually converted.
I have to agree with Loren's replies on this. It's sort of the definition of "faith". As I was told by nuns at a tender age, "you'll understand it all after you're dead". A real quote by the way.