Montesquieu
 

XXIV.4 Consequences of the character of the Christion religion and of the Mohammedan religion

From the cha­rac­ter of the Christian reli­gion and of the Mohammedan, one must, without fur­ther exa­mi­na­tion, embrace the one and reject the other : for it is much more evi­dent to us that a reli­gion should tem­per men’s ethos than that one reli­gion should be true.

It is unfor­tu­nate for human­kind when reli­gion is dic­ta­ted by a conque­ror. The Mohammedan reli­gion, which speaks only of the sword, still acts on men with the des­truc­tive spi­rit that foun­ded it.

The story of Sabbaco,1 one of the pas­to­ral kings, is awe­some. The god of Thebes appea­red to him in a dream and com­man­ded him to have all the priests of Egypt put to death. He jud­ged that it was no lon­ger the gods’ plea­sure that he reign, since they com­man­ded him to do things so contrary to their usual will, and he with­drew to Ethiopia.

See Diodorus, book II.See Diodorus, book II.