Why is it when the word 'religion' comes into play such behavior is given a pass? I'm not going to spend time tracking misdeeds through the centuries. All the monotheistic religions have had their low points. The current high of low points, however, seems to belong to the radical Islamists. They not only seem bent on destroying the lives of all those who don't believe, or interpret, as they do, but also all visages under the pretext they are symbols of paganism. They seem not to care that paganism itself is a religion of sorts. Never mind the historical and cultural significance of that which is to be destroyed.
Back in 2001 Afghan Taliban demolished the magnificently huge 2000 year old statues of Buddha. The reason was to stop the worshipping of false idols. The world stood by aghast. And let it happen. If it had been done under any other pretext than religion would the world have stood by?
I don't think for a moment that the Taliban are stronger in their beliefs than others. I do believe they know they have the world cowed and act with impunity.
Does that seem a little harsh? Consider this. It's being reported that Muslim clerics are now encouraging Egypt's new president to destroy Egypt's Pyramids! Why? For the same reason; they are symbols of paganism. Apparently technology has progressed to the point where this would not be that difficult an undertaking if the spirit is willing. I wouldn't bet that it isn't.
So far the fanatics that call themselves Christians in the western world haven't taken to destroying historical structures or killing those they hate, at least not in the numbers the Islamists do. Does that make them less fanatical? I don't think so. Just a bit more civilized in a society that does demand consequences for egregious actions.
On the other hand, there is a steady infiltration of radicals into the west. What's to come? When we deny permission for the building of a mosque will they destroy one of our great cathedrals or synagogues?
My sensibilities say no, impossible. My intellect say it's entirely possible as long as it's under the guise of 'religion'.