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Taslima Nasreen has a post up pointing out that there are many instances where other religions can be just as barbaric as fundamentalist Islam:

I think, to get more truth, you should visit India and paint Hindu Goddesses naked like M F Hussain. You would most likely be killed by Hindu fanatics, or you would be imprisoned because of laws against blasphemy. Many cases would be filed against you by Hindus for hurting their religious feelings. It is a punishable crime to hurt people’s religious feelings in the Indian subcontinent and many other countries in the world. And if you speak against Christianity, catholic bishops will put your life in danger. You have to run away to save your life like Sanal EdamarukuIn Europe, ninety-nine individuals were convicted last year by the Maltese Courts for public blasphemy, and 119 were convicted previous year. You know three members of Pussy Riot, Russian Music group were sentenced to two years in prison for staging a performance at the Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. If it were not a church or a cathedral, Pussy Riot members would not be in prison.

[snip]

Even Buddhism, a so called peaceful religion can make terrorists. I hope you know how Buddhists in Myanmar killed and displaced thousands of poor Muslims. No one should forget about anti-Muslim pogrom of Gujarat in 2002. 2000 innocent Muslims were killed by Hindu extremists.

It isn’t that Islam as a religious ideology is necessarily more evil or barbaric than others, it’s that Islam as a political ideology has been given more chances to seize power in many countries around the world.  As Taslima points out, when other religions are given the same chance, they are just as bad as Islam.

With all the focus right now on the atheist blogosphere being “islamophobic” I would just like to point out that many of us do tend to make a special exception for Islam as “the most evil religion in the world” or something to that effect.  Richard Dawkins even said, in an oft-quoted tweet, that “[I] often say Islam [is the] greatest force for evil today.”

I don’t think Islam is inherently more evil than other religions.  I think most Muslims live in a region where religion and government are more closely intertwined, and so we see religious fundamentalists with practically unchecked power.  It’s foolish to pretend like our preferred religious beliefs would fare any differently.  Does anyone really think that if Pat Robertson or Rick Santorum were given unchecked political power, they would refrain from imposing their own version of Sharia law on everyone?  It’s not a matter of ideology, it’s a matter of opportunity.