I would not lump Buddhism together for any substantive discussion. The different sects and cultures who practice it are diverse, and not without their own problems.
Tibetan Buddhism is absolutely a religion, with a boat load of gods, demons, dogma, superstition, and fundamentalism. They are currently participating in a holy war against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.
Other varieties of pure land Buddhism also have piles of dogma and although they seem to be less violent than the Abrahamic cults, there could be societal, geographic, and situational mitigating factors. There are a few holy wars going on with Islam in southeast asia, but Islam seems to be soliciting holy war with pretty much everyone right now.
Zen is, in theory, without dogma and formless enough to be disqualified as a religion, but in practice often shows up as an exploitative hierarchy supporting a variety of abusive situations. Since this is indistinguishable from other "in practice" religions, I would hesitate to give it a pass.
As far as I understand things, Buddha did not want worship from followers, he offered a philosophy and teaching based on his own personal experience. Nothing was written down in his lifetime, all writing about his life happened many years after the event. So how accurate the reports are anybodies guess. Religions are based on the writings of men. I believe the same is true of the Christian gospels, all written after the event and subject to the writers own interpretations. There are no divine writings anywhere, every word man-made.
The fact that men twist and distort often sound teachings for their own ends is, it seems to me, the nature of 'men' through the ages (and it is mostly men) using the words to control and subjugate others .
On a demonstration in London not so long ago, a Muslim was waving a placard with the words "Kill all those who say that Islam is not a religion of peace"..... For me (apart from the delicious irony) it sums up all that is daft about blindly following belief, rather than looking for personal truth in the moment.