I downloaded the Koran from Audible and am slogging my way through it now. The writing style is not very fluid and the composition is nonlinear, so it's probably better in an audio version than text. Last week I was listening to the Gospel of St. Matthew and the contrast on all levels is dramatic.
I'm 1/3 of the way through it and have already come across the beat-your-wife-if-she's-disobedient part as well as the recommendations on taking slave girls (by all means, do so!) and the kill the infidels part (attack!). All in all, it's a very aggressive book. Something I saw on Secular Apostate's blog suggested that it gets even more aggressive as it goes along and so far that's held up. It's also a schizophrenic book.
The Koran is a big on righteous living, being good to orphans and avoiding sin. You can certainly see how it could be interpreted as a religion of peace by some. Seen through a particular prism, the Koran would lead you to respecting and loving your spouse, raising your children to be good citizens, telling the truth and caring for the poor.
Seen through a different lens, you could be properly following it when you killed Jews, Christians, secularists and any other idolators, infidels or transgressors. My own personal reading of it is that the peaceful parts apply to Moslems and the warlike parts apply against the infidels. If I were Moslem, that's the way my mind would reconcile the two halves. I'd be squarely in the jihadi camp and completely at peace with my world view and religion.
I've got another 9 hours or so to go to listen to it all. One thing became clear within the first hour and has been reinforced over and over again as I've gone along - arguing that the Islamofascists are improperly interpreting the Koran is never going to work.