Hating Islam but not hating Muslims?

A politician recently said that he hates Islam, but does not hate Muslims. But this article from Arab News, which is overall well-written if not logically rigorous, is a rejoinder to that. I give you the last section, and ask for your opinion:

Is it possible to hate Islam while not hating Muslims? Or is Islam such a deep and profound element of Muslims' identity that the Muslim and his faith are the same thing?

But the Dutch politician was careful with his words. He did not say he hated Muslims, he said he hated Islam. In his view, he is merely criticizing an ideology, not attacking a people. But when I read his words I felt personally attacked. He is not criticizing my religion; he is expressing hate in the set of beliefs that makes me a Muslim. He is very clearly expressing hatred for Muslims and his affirming the contrary only makes it all the more offensive to Muslims. His words not only offend me but more importantly threaten me. I accept being offended. I do not accept being hated for what I believe in.


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