dionysus, I couldn’t help but notice that your empirical evidence is based on the assumption that religious fanatics act just like muslims. Not all do and we certainly can’t determine with any real accuracy how fanatics behaved 2000 years ago.
There were Jewish zealots, fanatics of sorts, but they were exclusively bent on ridding Judea of the Romans, and if a few Romans died in the process, all the better, but they themselves had no desire to die or be martyred.
One other thing I’ve notived too is that none of the cults of religious fanatics ever grew to be global like Christianity did. Islam really isn’t the same because of the techniques of expansion. Islam uses murder, terror, fear, dictatorships, etc to gain and keep control. Christianity never did that, at least not to the extent of Islam (I’m thinking of the Crusades, witch-burnings, inquisitions, etc) and it never lasted long.
Common sense, if not logic, tells us that a hoax just couldn’t be perpetuated for 2000 years.