Looking at the history of Europe and the Middle East particularly, and later the history of European colonialism, it's probably true to say that, until 1948 the one Abrahamic religion that had generally been on the receiving end of persecution and atrocity and yet had no history of retaliation or counter atrocity was Judaism.
In fact, the contribution of Jews to European and Middle Eastern philosophy, art, politics, science, medicine, music, economics, mathematics and banking has been huge - far greater than their relative numbers in the population as a whole. It would be easy to come up with long list of prominent Jews for each of these disciplines, such as Moses Maimonides, Baruch Spinoza, Marc Chagall, Amedo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, Max Liebermann, Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, Wolfgang Pauli, John von Neumann, Richard Feyman, Felix Mendelssohn, Gustav Mahler, Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Horowitz, Arnold Schoenberg, etc., etc., etc., and that only scratches the surface of philosophy, art, science and musical composition.
|Marc Chagall Rabbi with Torah 1965|
However, that would be missing one crucial point, and a point made most strongly by the events in Palestine since 1948.
The point that might be overlooked in all this history is that only the Jews have always been a minority, and usually a repressed, persecuted minority in every state in which they have been present. Both Islam (either Sunni or Shia) and Christianity, at least in its major forms, have been the dominant religions in one or more state, and where they have been they have almost always been exclusive and intolerant of other religions and have persecuted and repressed minorities with enthusiasm.
Of course, Jews have not been the only persecuted minority - Quakers, for example, have been throughout most of their history and they too have contributed disproportionately in those disciplines where they have been permitted to contribute (they were forbidden from holding elected office for much of their history in the UK, for example).
The religion meme has within it the potential to become virulently pathological just as it did in 11th-century Jerusalem when Christians murdered Muslims and boasted about the depth of the blood that flowed through the streets; in 13th-century France when Catholics murdered Cathars; in 15th-century Andalucia when Jews and Muslims were slaughtered by the Catholic armies of Ferdinand and Isabella; in 16th-century Paris where Catholics joyfully massacred Huguenots; in 19th-century Greece where Greek Orthodox Christians and Ottoman Turkish Muslims murdered one another by the thousand; in 20th-century Europe where Christians murdered Jews on an industrial scale with ruthless and inhuman efficiency; in 20th-century Bosnia where Eastern Orthodox Christians murdered Bosniac Muslims to avenge some largely mythical 14th-century blood feud and now in 21st-century Iraq where Sunni Muslims are murdering both Shia Muslims and Christians, and in fact any non-Sunni minority with equal relish.
The only thing preventing Judaism wrecking the same destruction on minorities is they there were rarely ever any minorities with even less power than they had and so they never had the political and/or military power to do so. All that changed in 1948 and we can now see what even the 'peaceful' Judaism is capable of becoming when it has the necessary power.
As I stated in Rosa's Laws of Religion, the Third Law of Special Theological Relativity states:
Tolerance for other religions is inversely proportional to the power of a god's supporters. As their power becomes absolute their tolerance reaches zero.
There are no religions better than others; there are only religions with not enough power to treat those who disagree with them the way they would if only they had the power to do so. The reason the pseudo-scientific Discovery Institute in the USA has adopted the Wedge Strategy to subvert the US constitution and insert Christian fundamentalism into public school is to prepare the USA for a takeover by Christian fundamentalist extremists so that they will have enough political and military power to impose their intolerant bigotry on others.
I cannot think of a single examples in human history of a religion having absolute power not becoming absolutely intolerant and absolutely abusive of those who disagree with it, competing with other religions only in the inhuman brutality and the creative novelty with which they inflicted their hatred on others. If there are any such examples I would be grateful to hear of them. They will be rare and exceptional if they exist at all.
The problem is religion itself. Absolute certainty in the absolute absence of evidence can only be sustained by shutting out opposition and dissent - and of course gods appreciate it when you destroy their enemies.