no problem klc, i cant blame you for being agressive about this topic considering that people who argue for their specific religion tend to be close-minded.
I dont have all the reasoning behind certain rules but I try to interpret them and keep my mind open to other interpretations
As for the whole issue of marrying people of the book. A muslim man cannot force his jew/christian wife to change her religion or force her to avoid teaching her beliefs to their children. I dont know if there is any specific rule like that in judaism and christianity. The husband-wife dynamic is a lot about mutual respect and protection (both physical and mental). The Quran only allows a man to have 4 wives if he can treat them all equally in all aspects of life.
I am not sure how the husband-wife dynamic plays out in christianity and judaism either, but perhaps the jew/christian husband might force his muslim wife to abide by his rules, which means a wife might either renounce her religion or stay true to her faith and get harsh treatment from her husband for disobedience ( a lose-lose situation really). Granted there are many husbands that are open-minded and understanding, but unfortunately we all know those numbers are really very little (no matter what the religion)
As for the whole gender equality issue in islam, the concept is a bit tricky for non-muslims to understand. Although men and women have different roles and responsibilities, their importance is very equal. Equality isnt necessarily same as similarity though.
Take for example, a man came to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and asked him, "Who amongst my near ones has the greatest right over me?"
The Prophet replied, "Your mother".
The man then asked, "Who after that?"
The Prophet replied again, "Your mother".
The man then asked, "who is next?"
The Prophet again replied, "Your mother".
The man then asked, "who after that?"
The Prophet said, "Your father".
According to the Prophet (along with the Quran, his words are the only correct source of guidance for muslims), the worth of the mother is three times more significant than that of the father and deservedly so, imo. The man just leaves his seed and takes it easy and the woman has to bear all the painful work.....Thank God, I am a man...
Another example is that it is the major responsibility of the man to be the bread winner of the family and the woman's major role is to instill moral and societal values in her children in order to raise gentlemen/women. However, a woman can work if she chooses to do so as long as she also fulfills her priorities.....but here is the catch....since its not her responsiblity to provide for her family financially, she doesnt have to spend a single dime of her earned money for her family. The male on the other hand must spend a share of his earned money for the well being of his family, even if he doesnt want to share.
These are only a few examples that suggest islam isnt a religion of male chauvinists. There are many more subtle details that are usually overlooked by those who follow the religion, let alone those who dont.