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By Answering Muslims (Reporter)
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Is it Racist to Criticize Islam?

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Until I entered the arena of apologetics to Muslims, I could never have imagined that some people would consider criticism of ideas to be tantamount to racism. I quickly learned, however, that there are indeed some who see it as such.

One such individual, Paul Williams of, is one of them. Recently, on Twitter, a discussion broke out between a friend of mine and Paul Williams on the identity of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53. I suggested to Paul Williams that we engage in a moderated debate on whether Isaiah 53 is Messianic. Among his reasons for declining my invitation, he tweeted this:

Racial abuse of Muslims… Seriously? Since when was Islam considered a race? And since when was the criticism of ideas tantamount to racism?

It is certainly true that Williams and I part ways on many issues, including the justifiability, from the Qur’an and other Islamic sources, of atrocities committed by the Islamic State and other groups. This, however, is an academic difference of opinion on how to best interpret those sources. I hold no ill-feeling whatsoever towards Muslim people. In fact, my heart is filled with compassion for them, and I long for them to be saved by the same grace that saved me.

I of course recognise that, while the Islamic State represent a valid expression of Islam, they are not normative for all Muslims. Muslims are a very diverse group of people, and I have long recognized the folly of branding or stereotyping all Muslims in any particular way.

In refutation of Williams’ false and defamatory allegation, my friend, Gunter, helpfully linked to a post of mine on Facebook from early December of 2015, in which I repudiated in the strongest of terms Christians who agreed with the anti-Muslim immigration policy promoted by Donald Trump:

It truly saddens me that such defamatory tactics are exercised all too commonly among many of the internet Muslim polemicists.


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