DRAFT: If Islam is the religion of peace, why are Muslim countries so violent?

I repeatedly hear Muslims in the US claim Islam is the religion of peace, but fail to see them proving they are by being as or more peaceful people than people of other cultures.  When I hear that I often wonder who they are comparing themselves to, Genghis Khan, the Vikings?

 

From what I can see Middle Eastern Muslims have had a history of violence and intolerance even among themselves.