Islam & Muslims: Beliefs, History, and Practice
Basic Beliefs of Islam: Five Pillars, Jihad, and Beyond
It is impossible to intelligently discuss a religion without having some clear idea as to what the religion teaches and what the faithful believe (and what differences there may be between the two, if any). Not all religions are the same - understanding one doesn't automatically mean that you understand the other, even if they are closely related.
Islam in the World: Country Index
Here you can find information about many of the countries where Muslims are a majority of the population. There are documents about political history, religious history, treatment of religious minorities, etc.
Islam: Basic Introduction to Methodology and Concepts
Of necessity, these documents on Islam does not paint a complete picture of the full breadth and depth of Islamic history and theology. More complete works on the subject can fill numerous bookcases, but there is not room for that much information here. This is only supposed to be a basic overview in an effort to introduce people to new concepts.
Islam and the Sacred: Sacred Texts, Places, and Times
Every religion seems to have some sense of the "sacred" - including sacred texts, sacred times, and sacred places. Islam is certainly not unusual in that regard. That which is sacred is considered special, holy, sanctified - understanding what a religion regards as sacred (and, in contrast, as profane) can go a long way in helping one understand more about the religion itself.