I was just skimming through a book my mate has here, (The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, by Barbara Walker, New York: Harper & Row, 1983, ISBN 0-06-250926-8) looking up some facts about the inquisition, when I stumbled across this interesting and perhaps enlightening quote:
"Have religious institutions been any more humane in the process of consolidating their power than has secular machinery similarly occupied? The taste for slaughter exhibited by the sons of the Prophet was more than matched by that of Christians who liquidated heathen and heretic....The cultural backgrounds of the past and current generation of political dictators provides interesting material for speculation. Mussoliini, Franco, Salazar, Hitler, Peron and almost without exception the Latin-American dictators were or are Roman Catholics, at least in their education and upbringing. And Stalin had considerable training for the priesthood of an equally dictatorial church. Confronted with such facts one is compelled at least to ask himself what kind of causal sequences are here suggested....Walker attributes this quote to
"In both Islam and Christendom the naive believers have over long periods been taught that it was their duty to slaughter the unbeliever, or whoever refused to accept their particular version of divine guidance. They have not had a change of heart; they have just been shorn of the powers for mischief."