A few months back, a neo-fascist BNP leader called Nick Griffin was acqitted of Incitement to Racial Hatred. The court case originated from secret filming '...on 19 January 2004, in which he described Islam as a "wicked, vicious faith". (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6137722.stm) The first time I read about this case, I was highly confused. Is hating islam the same as hating muslims? Could a Briton go to jail for saying islam is wicked and vicious?
In my opinion, there is very little creditable in islam, for the following reason. I believe religions encapsulate the character and core motivations of their founders. That character and those motivations are then institutionalised and propagated. Sadly, mohammed was not a nice guy. He emerges from the koran as spiteful, grudge-holding, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, extremely parochial and domineering. He did not have a big soul.
islam is like mohammed. Its based on his life, his teachings, on him. Although there are lots of flowery poetic bits in the koran that sound like the mercy and big-heartedness of Judaism and Christianity, they are completely undermined in my view by the actual character of mohammed. Where his character is on display, its not pretty. Getting revenge on those he deemed to have humiliated him was a big part of his motivation. In my view, thats not someone to base a major religion on. But hey, that just me and my opinion.
Could I potentially go to jail for that? In Britain? It would be an overstatement to say I hate islam. I deeply dislike it and the religious supremicism it seems to inevitably spawn, but I don't hate it. But if I did, would that be a crime? Not in a free country.