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You had the liberals with their view, and the conservatives with their view, and I felt both of them were really missing the mark.

The title of my book speaks to millions of people in the Muslim world who are atheist or agnostic but must publicly identify as Muslim or they’d be disowned, ostracized, or even killed by their families and governments. They retain the Muslim label because the governments and Islamist groups in their countries won’t let them shake it off.

They’re atheist in thought but Muslim by presentation. Well, now, with Trump’s Muslim ban, especially the first one he proposed as a candidate in 2015, Trump won’t let them shake it off either.

I don’t feel equipped to assign weights to these causes, and I’m about as far from an authority on Islam as one can get, so I struggle to say anything definitive or useful about these problems. Now, does that mean that Judaism is suddenly okay with bacon?

I'm going to paraphrase my friend Maajid Nawaz on this. This is the difference between religion and people.

For example, I still enjoy the Eid holiday and the fast-breaking iftar feasts of Ramadan with my family. well, you don't get more atheist than Richard Dawkins.

I have pleasant childhood associations and memories with these things. Yet he has also described himself as a cultural Christian.

But when I saw your tweet the other day claiming that the left was wrong about Islam and the right was wrong about Muslims, that felt like a good way into this difficult debate. I think the left has a blind spot when it comes to Islam and the right has a blind spot when it comes to Muslims.

When Christian fundamentalists like Pat Robertson say something that's homophobic or misogynistic, people on the left descend on them like a ton of bricks.

Islam is a religion; it’s a set of beliefs, a bunch of ideas in a book. Muslims are real, living, breathing people, and to me, there's a big difference between criticizing ideas and demonizing human beings.

And your sense was that both the left and the right were failing to capture this distinction? On the left, people were saying that if you have any criticism against Islam, then you were a bigot against all Muslims.

But there is, at this moment, an inordinate amount of chaos springing out of the Muslim world.

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