Oh, and if we're going there.... Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials. Oh, no, Christians aren't violent at all...
With the possible exception of the third of your examples (about which I know little beyond what every American knows) the first two examples have a number of causes that spread far beyond religion. For example, the Crusades were not the sole work of the church. It is not as though Christians just decided to retake the Levant for the purpose of their faith. If it was solely based on religion, then why did it take over 300 years for the Latin Christians to care about Jerusalem being controlled by Muslims? Instead, the changing power dynamics between the Byzantines and the newly arrived Seljuk Turks played a large role in the Crusades, since the Byzantine-Arab (I say Arab rather than list caliphates needlessly) border had more or less settled at the edge of Anatolia for quite some time before that, with occasional temporary shifts. Also, the recent arrival of the Normans in the West played a large role in the Crusades, especially when one looks at the prominence of Norman Crusaders. Beyond that, economic conditions among nobles in the West played a significant part in the Crusades as the number of inter-Christian wars decreased and the opportunities for the warrior-elite to enrich themselvs simultaneously decreased.
Another examples comes when one looks at, for example, the German Crusade (which took place just before/was an early part of the First Crusade). The departure of many German crusaders was accompanied by large scale violence against Jews. Religoius violence, right? Not at all. Throughout the lands where this occurred, bishops told the people not to kill Jews and many even accepted the Jewish population into their cathedrals for protection and the populace actually stormed cathedrals to attack Jews. The reason was economic, that these nobles, burghers, and peasants had recently become endebted to Jews in order to engage on Crusade and wanted to sort of wipe out their debt before leaving.
The Inquisition is also rather interesting, but it was largely a venture by the Spanish Crown to cement its power, not a religoius affair (hence why it was organized by the Spanish monarchy, not the Roman church). In Iberia, this largely took the form of oppression against the newly conquered peoples of the region who were largely Muslim and Jewish, but in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Spanish Inquisition was just as harsh attacking Christians (mostly Protestant in the Netherlands, but also Catholics). One must also remember that it was the political doctrine that evolved in this period was that the religion of the prince was the religion of his state - holding a different religion was viewed as a sort of sedition, especially in the case of converts. This is a failing of religious officials not to combat this, but it was part of political doctrine, not church doctrine.
I am sure that this could be applied to actions carried out by Musliims. What is important is to remember that not every action by a religious person is a reflection of doctrine or dogma, even if they believe it is. I feel that saying "the Crusades" or "Inquisition" or what have you was caused by religion is like saying that the American Civil War was caused by slavery - slavery played its part, but like Apu tries saying when taking a citizenship test, "A number of factors both social and economical lead to..."
Kind of off-topic but since the Bible is supposedly inspired and guided by the will of God and God's morality should then flow in it like water to be clearly seen and the ebbs and flows of it wouldn't it then be the true intent of God's morality and superior to all man has come to understand?
If so God is a monsterous thing the OT and Revelation are ripe with the horrors He encouraged in his name through his agents then I ask why are you worshipping this thing?
If not then why use the Bible as truth its not true if God can change his mind about morality and clearly that is the arguement being made by some people, well its different now its not then. Sorry if God is God his morality would be better than those we tried at Nuremburg for horrible actions. Yet he did order his people through prophets and judges to do horrible acts and did those acts himself?
The problem is with literal interpretation of the Bible. It is startling to see how Protestantism has caused such an upgrowth in literal readings of the Bible in the past 500 years, but Catholic doctrine, Eastern Orthodox doctrine, and most Jewish schools of thought read what a Christian would call the Old Testament allegorically, to put it simply. There are actually many layers through which one can read the Bible - literally, morally, allegorically, and mystically, with the last holding the highest level of truth in it and the first generally being avoided. It is only once the common man (i.e. one not trained in theology) was encouraged to interpret the Bible for himself that we begin to see a large scale move to literalism. Personally, I see this as a flaw of Protestantism, though even most mainstream Protestants now do chose to read most of the Bible allegorically.
There is also the flaw, which I believe has been pointed out, that Christians only believe in divine inspiration, not that the text is exactly as God intended. This allows for Biblical criticism to be undertaken and allows for errors and imperfections in the text. Of course, some Christians hold more fanatical views (I'm thinking of KJV only people), but this is the Catholic doctrine on the issue, as well as, I believe, the mainstream Protestant one.
IMO, while Catholicism and Protestantism are both Christianity, it's not the same thing. For one thing, Protestants don't have a Pope (who is supposedly infallible, despite him being born a man), nor do we have a bunch of old traditions that are, by the Bible's reckoning, entirely unnecessary.
You've already been called out on the infallibility thing, so I see no reason to criticize again. However, what "old traditions" are unnecessary and what "by the Bible's reckoning" makes them unnecessary? And how don't Protestants have old traditions? They have just as many old traditions, it's only they trace their tradition back to whenever their branch was founded whereas Catholics trace their traditions (wrongly or rightly) back to the early church. Personally, I'd rather trace my tradition back to the apostles than to Martin Luther, John Calvin, Henry VIII of England, Wesley, etc.
one of the biggest problems I've noticed with the Koran is that culturally, while most christians believe their book penned and edited by men, divinely inspired and illuminated men yes, but still men and therefore not infallible (with the exception of good ol J.C. duh), Islamic culture holds the koran dictated ver-batum by the angel to muhammid, and therefore unalterable, infalable, dispite being actually having been edited by various Caliphs and such. what this means is once somthing goes in, no matter how foul or biased, it's impossable to remove or ignore.
three other things
Have you ever noticed the more extremeist churches draw on the old testiment a lot?
When I look at the middle east I notice they've lived with islam guiding their laws so long they have a hard time approaching secular government styles, with the exception of turkey.
I've also noticed that monotheist faiths are the only sexist ones, I've run into a few pagan feminists who go on and on about the "mother godess" of earth and how men should serve her. diffrent gender, diffrent holy symbol, same jackass sexisim.
I agree with your statement on the Koran, that doctrine is among my largest misgivings about Islamic theology. Though, some Christians, like KJV only people, do hold that view about the Bible, it is just that they are in the minority.
I'm not sure your depiction of Turkey is 100% fair - they have a lot of problems with their secular government, especially when it clashes with the faith of their people. Occasionally, this even takes on a form similar to religious oppresion - i.e. the banning of headscarves on women in political office. I believe Indonesia during the last 12 years might be a better example of a secular majority-Muslim state.
And as to monotheism being more sexist than non-monotheists, I am not sure this is true, but I do not know enough about other faiths to dispute it. India, for example, is a sexist state with a Hindu majority and from what little I know, Hinduism seems to re-enforce this situation. The same is also true of Japan, with Shinto (and/or Buddhism) replacing Hinduism. And in Africa, I doubt the native religions do much to aid in sexism. Though, whether these are societal sexism with a neutral religion or a sexist religion alongside a sexist societ is up for debate. Of course, since religion was more or less indistinguishable from these societies (until relatively recently), I doubt there can be much of a distinction, unlike with Christianity and Islam, where many societies and polities held the same religion, here we see something akin to each society having its own faith.