Of course not. Because Islam is not a race, but a violent ideology in the guise of religion.
Ian McEwan has insisted that criticising Islam is not racist and blamed far- left stinkers for “closing down the debate”.
The Booker Prize winner said those who claimed judging Muslims was “de facto” racism were playing a “poisonous argument”.
McEwan, 61, the best-selling author of novels includingÂ Amsterdam, Atonement andÂ Saturday, thought many in the left wrongly took this position because they had an anti-Americanism shared with Islamists.
In an interview with today’sÂ Telegraph Magazine, McEwan said: “Chunks of left-of-centre opinion have tried to close down the debate by saying that if you were to criticise Islam as a thought system you are a de facto racist. That is a poisonous argument.
“They do it on the basis that they see an ally in their particular forms of anti-Americanism,” he said.
“So these radical Muslims are the shock-troops for the armchair Left who don’t want to examine too closely the rest of the package â€“ the homophobia, the misogyny and so on.”
McEwan first entered the fray in 2007 to defend his friend Martin Amis against charges of racism.
Amis had been accused of Islamophobia after writing an essay criticising the “extreme incuriosity of Islamic culture”; arguing that Islam had “proved responsive” to the influence of Hitler and Stalin; and labelling Islamism a “cult of death”.
The essay itself attracted little attention, but in a subsequent interview Amis made the incendiary comment: “The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.”
Muslims would have to undergo “discriminatory stuff” like stopping them from travelling, he said.
Prof Terry Eagleton, the Marxist literary critic, subsequently compared him to a British National Party “thug”.
Amis maintained throughout that he was not Islamophobic, but detested Islamism, the religion’s fundamentalist branch.
He later said that he had only been “conversationally describing an urge” in his comments about discriminatory measures for Muslims, “an urge that soon wore off”.
“I hereby declare that ‘harassing the Muslim community in Britain’ would be neither moral nor efficacious,” he added.
However, Ronan Bennett, who wrote the screenplay to the filmÂ The Hamburg Cell, later deplored Amis for making “an odious an outburst of racist sentiment as any public figure has made in this country for a very long time”.
At that point McEwan got involved, writing a letter in defence of Amis. He was himself then decried as a member of the “clash-of-civilisations literary brigade”.
McEwan said he consequently became the victim of hate messages on jihadist websites.
In today’s interview McEwan stressed that his political views were “incredibly unexciting”, being “just left of centre”.