Well since we're throwing out opinions, here's mine. I often wonder what makes one group excel, while another group lags behind. The non-Christian peoples of the Middle and Near East once had societies which were vastly superior to those in Western Europe, and easily matched the Near Eastern Christian cultures. Eventually, Europe caught up, and then shot past them like a bullet. What happened? Why were some people stuck in the stone age into the 18th, 19th, even 20th century? How could the Polynesians accomplish something as amazing as getting all the way down to New Zealand, and then remain in the stone age until Europeans started showing up eight centuries later? How is it that life began in Africa, and yet many tens of thousands (and possibly a couple hundred thousand) year later, Africa was still divided up into unsophisticated tribal cultures, willing to capture each other and commit ceremonial murders, or sell the prisoners into slavery. How did the Incans progress culturally as far as they did, and then decide to commit human sacrifices regularly?
My theory, as well as the theory I have heard most often put forward is influences of climate and geography, basically, food has to be scarce enough to cause the culture to pursue domestication of animals and cultivation of crops, yet the geographic (and geological) conditions have to be right to allow this. Where are these conditions seen throughout most the world? In a narrow strip north of the Equator, from Japan to North Africa, and then in South American and Mexico. Basically, necessity is the mother of invention.
As far as the advancemnets of the non-Christian people of the Middle and Near East, they were advancements of the Persian empire maintained by conquered Persian nobles, anything good in the Islamic Cultures was stolen from the Persians and Romans. The moslems were and remain a backwards and barbaric people, unable to create anything good only able to steal it from others; and in time they manage to corrupt even that which they stole, the only good the moslems ever did for Persia was spread her culture, yet in a matter of mere centuries the Glory of Persia would fade under the influence of the Islamic Hoards to the point where even the remnants can no longer be seen today.
As far as human sacrifices, I dont necessicarially view them barbaric and demonstrating the backwardsness of a culture. The Carthaginians practiced human sacrifice on their youth, and this act was loudly condemned by the moral Romans and even decadent Greeks as barbaric and immoral. However, Greece and Rome practiced exposure of infants, and defence of this act can even be found in some philosophers (basicially the argument goes that the evil of killing a human is that you kill a reasonable being and since an infant or very young child has not yet achieved the full use of his or her reason, the killing of this infant is not on par with the killing of a human being); to this very day the most civilized of countries practice an equivalent, abortion. Human sacrifice, or at least human sacrifice of infants (human sacrifice of defeated enemies does serve a different purpose, one that we thankfully abandoned about 500 years ago), serves the same purpose as exposure or abortion, population control; and unlike today when population control is generally used as a matter of convenience (China's population control, possibly, being a notable exception) in ancient societies it was often a matter of life or death, Children required resources, if resources were already scarse it's highly unlikely the child would survive anyway and an attempt to save them would only take resources from others, thus causing more death and suffering. Thus when the famine hits, you step up the human sacrifieces, and it actually does do some good; eventually this ancient necessity was cloaked in religious and ceremonial significance to make it easier. Pure pragmatism, again, necessity is the mother of invention.
I would agree with the last two posters, and so I would say that religion (whether Muslim or otherwise) is rarely the direct and single cause of "evil" activity. Different people just develop in different ways. Religion often gives people an excuse to act a certain way, but that doesn't mean that the religion was the primary cause of the action, or that the religion had any effect, for that matter.
So it's really the Arab and Turkish races that are evil, and Islam is just a reflection of that? Or, at least, the Arab and Turkish cultures that are Evil? You may be right, it is notable that the overwhelming majority of significant advancements in the last 2500 years have come from Indo-European civilization. But, in the end, Religion and Culture have become so linked that I do not believe it is necessary to make this distinction. To adopt another's religion is to adopt their culture. We're still at the same point, Islam and the Culture that surrounds it is evil.
Clearly the Quran is much more militant than, say, the New Testament. However, I do not think it is so clearly more militant than, say, the Byzantine empire at times, or the Old Testament. Christians always seem to find a way to justify what Justinian did, or what Joshua did.
What about Justinian? He developed a code of laws that survive as the basis for the legals system of the Majority of the World today. He commissioned advancements in Architecture that would serve as the basis for the next thousand years of European Culture. Are you refering to the execution of the traitors in the hippodrome? Keep in mind that even to this very day, under the laws of our Republic, the actions of those people, attempting to overthrow the Government, and actually establishing a rival government, would be regarded as treason and even in the United States if you were to try that, every one of those people would technically be liable for a death sentence (we'd try them on conspiracy charges, far easer than trying them for treason proper), though the full sentence would probably only be given to the leaders because of political issues.
Now that I've covered that tangent, back to the issue at hand, but keep in mind, there is a HUGE difference between acting like a 6th century people IN the 6th century, and acting like a 6th century people in the 21st Century.
But what Muhammed does is "pure evil". And the religion of Justinian and Joshua is sacred, it could never even so much as be questioned. But the religion of Muhammed, well we can dismiss it outright without even having tried to understand it. (I realise that some people have studied it, but the overwhelming majority are just going on the 20 second sound bites they hear on the news, what their equally uninformed friends say, etc.)
Islam can be objectively judged today, one does not have to subjectively submit it to any religion of philosophical system. Christians, Jews, Atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, Animists, Shintoists, Pagans, etc., etc. can all live in harmony with each other, the worst of this group is probably the very small portion of Christians of the evangelical stripe, but the worst they'll do is annoy you and try to convert you, they are not going to strap explosives to their chest and blow themselves up in a Hindu temple. This worst of the 'rest of the world' group doesn't even compare to Islam, Islam is unable to live with anyone. Who ever they live with they show violence towards, be it the Genocide of Christians, blowing themselves up to kill Jews, or destroying Ancient Buddhist religious sites, in all this there is one constant, Islam. And dont tell me about how Christians acted in 1200 AD or how Jews acted in 1500 BC, this is not 1200 AD or 1500 BC, this is the 21st Century, actions that may have been acceptable and commonplace then are not acceptable now. Everyone but Islam has recognized it, thus it can objectively be stated that Islam is evil, and that Islam is a threat...a threat that I have long advocated neutralizing.