Atheist Richard Dawkins has clarified his views on religion, explaining that while Christianity used to be the "most evil" religion, it's since been replaced by Islam - and Muslims and women are its "main victims".
On Wednesday, the famed evolutionary biologist tweeted, "Christianity was the world's most evil religion. Now massively overtaken by Islam. And Muslims are the main victims, especially women."
A short time earlier, he tweeted, "If you believe disliking Islam implies disliking Muslims, or precludes disliking Trump, please go away and learn how to think."
As reported, the "God Delusion" author issued a stinging criticism of Islam while speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Sunday, according to The Telegraph.
"It's tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it's a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they're not," the 76-year-old said. "If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it's quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam."
He noted, however, that it's "terribly important to modify that" because not all Muslims are evil, and many suffer more from Islam than anyone else.
"They suffer from the homophobia, the misogyny, the joylessness which is preached by extreme Islam, Isis and the Iranian regime," he said. "So it is a major evil in the world, we do have to combat it, but we don't do what Trump did and say all Muslims should be shut out of the country. That's draconian, that's illiberal, inhumane and wicked. I am against Islam not least because of the unpleasant effects it has on the lives of Muslims."
Earlier, Dawkins even conceded that "Christianity may actually be our best defense against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world," as reported by The Gospel Herald.
He admitted that Christianity, unlike Islam, does not make use of violent and inhumane methods to fulfill its teachings.
"There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. 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," he said.
He said that he has "mixed feelings" concerning the decline of Christianity, because this faith-based group might just be "a bulwark against something worse". On Sunday, he warned of the dangers of removing religious from public schools.
"I don't think religious education should be abolished," he said. "I think that it is an important part of our culture to know about the Bible after all so much of English literature has allusions to the Bible, if you look up the Oxford English Dictionary you find something like the same number of quotations from the Bible as from Shakespeare.
He added, "It's an important part of our history. So much of European history is dominated by disputes against rival religions and you can't understand history unless you know about the history of the Christian religion and the Crusades and so on.
"I would not abolish religions education, I think I would substitute it for comparative religion and Biblical history and religious history.
"Comparative religion is very valuable partly because the child learns that there are lots of different religions not just the one they were brought up with. They learn they are all different and they can't all be right, so maybe none of the are right. Critical thinking is what we need."