New York, June 23 : British novelist Ian McEwan has spoken out against militant Islam, saying he "despises" because of its views on women and homosexuality.
McEwan, the award-winning author of "Atonement" and "Enduring Love," said the religion wants "to create a society that I detest."
However, McEwan, 60, insists that he is not a racist.
The writer made his comments to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera to defend his friend, fellow writer Martin Amis, against charges of racism.
Ian McEwan has been criticised by the Muslim Council of Britain.
Amis was accused last year of being Islamaphobic after he said that "the Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order".
In the essay, Amis also suggested "strip-searching people who look like they're from the Middle East or from Pakistan," in an effort to combat terrorism.
"As soon as a writer expresses an opinion against Islamism, immediately someone on the left leaps to his feet and claims that because the majority of Muslims are dark-skinned, he who criticises it is racist," McEwan said.
"This is logically absurd and morally unacceptable. Martin is not a racis," the Daily News quoted him, as saying.
McEwan also said that he finds Christianity "equally absurd," adding, "I don't like these medieval visions of the world according to which God is coming to save the faithful and to damn the others. But those American Christians don't want to kill anyone in my city, that's the difference."