In such a short interview with the NYTimes that one is tempted to invent a different term for it, McEwan says the following
Your fellow novelist Martin Amis is being shredded in the British press after criticizing various aspects of Islam. He was attacked in The Guardian, in a shrill manner. All religions make very big claims about the world, and it should be possible in an open society to dispute them. It should be possible to say, “I find some ideas in Islam questionable” without being called a racist.
Which ideas do you mean? Well, the idea that any apostate should be punished is revolting. This is completely hostile to the notion of free thought and everything we hope to stand for. I think Martin has suffered terribly at the hands of The Guardian.
Yes Ian. Veeery smart. One is tempted to describe this with a sentence of his own, from just before, in the same interview:
You were probably already a nonbeliever. No, I was just beginning to see through it all, but not quite.
Not quite. Well, if that isn’t a nice way to put it.