Atheist author Richard Dawkins has condemned Islam as the "most evil religion in the world" while speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Sunday.
"It's tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it's a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they're not," Dawkins said at the festival, according to The Telegraph.
"If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it's quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam," he added.
The author explained that it does not mean that "all Muslims are evil," as some of them "suffer more from Islam than anyone else" because of the "homophobia, the misogyny, the joylessness" preached by extremists.
Dawkins noted that Islam has to be resisted, but he said that Muslims should not be barred from entering the U.K.
"That's draconian, that's illiberal, inhumane and wicked. I am against Islam not least because of the unpleasant effects it has on the lives of Muslims," the author said.
Dawkins, who is promoting his new book titled "Science in the Soul," also advised against banning religious studies in schools. He said that it is important to learn about the Bible because so much of English literature refers to it.
The author argued that history cannot be fully understood without the knowledge of the Christian religion and the Crusades. He suggested that religious education should be replaced with comparative religion, Biblical history and religious history. He stated that comparative religion is valuable for children because they learn about other religions, not just the one that they were raised with.
The famed atheist, however, insisted that using "hell fire" to scare children is "deeply wicked" and "evil," echoing statements he has made in the past.
In his 2006 bestseller, "The God Delusion," Dawkins stated that teaching children that they could end up in hell is greatly damaging to a child's mental well-being. The book, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year, has been praised by atheist leaders and other authors for its far-ranging impact.
Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist blog contended that the book has created more atheists than any other book in history, noting that it has sold more than three million copies.
Dawkins stated in a BBC interview in May 2016 that he is proud of the book, but he does not anticipate writing another book with the same subject.