Neither history nor humanity has bearing on the zealot whose philosophy claims to be timeless. If his sense of humanity is in conflict with the philosophy, the philosophy will always eventually outweigh his sense of humanity. Also, it is impossible for the zealot to learn certain historical lessons due to his view of the philosophy as “timeless” or eternal or absolute. This is why we have religious extremists; when no inherent and well-defined controls over the behavior of these zealots exist within the philosophy, they are susceptible to any depravity the ego can concoct in order to defend its way of thinking. That’s why it makes no sense for the modern Christian to decry without compassion the violent, extreme Muslim. Not long ago – not long ago at all – the Christians, particularly their leaders and the zealots among them, did the same things to the “heretics” that the zealous Muslims are doing now to the “infidels." Both philosophies are viewed from within as timeless and neither has inherent controls that might prevent a return to similar acts of rape, torture and murder. The only controls that might be in place are cultural in nature, a flimsy prospect at best, particularly if the government becomes a theocracy of sorts. Therefore, the same abominations could happen again among any religious populace that sees its philosophy as inspired of God.
Therefore, the problem is not religion, either Christian or Muslim or any other.
The problem is unaware humanity’s penchant to identify their sense of Self with philosophies and theosophies and to assign to these ideas control over their own humanity and spiritual awakening. But true religion is never in charge of the adherent’s awakening to a true sense of his humanity and the nature of his soul. Indeed, it is quite separate, for the supplicant always approaches the altar of Creator alone. Any organized religion, being for the masses rather than the individual and also being innately incomplete (for how can God truly be described in words), can only guide in the most general fashion the awakening of the individual into deep humility, humanity and spirituality.
We are in a position where we either wake up--now--or we risk repeating the cycle of suffering that has gone on for centuries. The individual can use religion to assist in this purpose to an extent or not. But the fact is until we awaken as a species, the lessons will get more intense, the suffering more acute, as is the case in all aspects of our lives where lessons go unlearned. This curriculum will be the lot of mankind until we hear again the sacred language of Eden and turn toward one another in love to the exclusion of all secondary concerns.