Evolutionary biologist and famed atheist Richard Dawkins has responded to accusations of Islamophobia stemming from his continued criticism of Islam, explaining that he doesn't dislike Muslims -- he takes issue with the draconian nature of their religion.
"Accused of hating Muslims," he tweeted to his 1.32 million followers on Wednesday. "No I JOIN the many decent Muslims who hate misogyny, killing gays & apostates, stoning, beheading, child marriage."
Last month, the "God Delusion" author came under fire from the Muslim community after he told the New Statesmen's Emad Ahmed that his belief that the prophet Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse was "pathetic" before storming off.
"Dawkins is in fact so outspoken about religion, particularly Islam, that I was genuinely stunned when he decided to angrily walk away from our scheduled interview after I confirmed my beliefs in the revelations of the Islamic faith, calling my views 'pathetic,'" Ahmed wrote in his Dec. 22 article, titled "My year in Islamophobia."
At the time, Dawkins once again took to Twitter to defend himself, writing, "I left when [Mr. Ahmed] said Muhammad rode a winged horse. A non-time wasting journalist needs at least SOME grasp of reality. Ridiculing belief in a winged horse is not 'bigotry', not 'Islamophobia', not 'racism'. It's sober, decent, gentle, scientific realism.
"If you believe you're Napoleon or a poached egg, you're in an asylum. If you believe in winged horses you're a New Statesman journalist," he added.
This is not the first time Dawkins has refused to mince words when expressing his distaste for radical Islam.
In December, the famed "Selfish Gene" author criticized the "regressive left " for turning a "treacherous, blind eye on misogyny & homophobia because they absurdly think Islam must be 'respected' as a 'race.;"
When several commenters attempted to debate the issue, mockingly telling Dawkins "There's no shame in being conned," the outspoken atheist reiterated, "Actually I think there is shame. Because the misogyny & homophobia promoted by Islam is no secret & v well known."
Despite his similar disdain for Christianity, Dawkins has also admitted that he sees Islam as a far bigger threat to world peace than Christianity and argued that "Christianity may actually be our best defense against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world."
"There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings," Dawkins said back in 2010. "I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death."
The famed atheist also acknowledges that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate horrific atrocities. In light of this realization, Dawkins suggested Christianity might offer an antidote to protect western civilization against jihad.
"I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse," he said.