Because I consider Islam to be especially belligerent and inimical to the norms of civil discourse, my views are often described as “racist” by my critics.
For the record, and on the off chance that Sam ever reads my blog, this is not the reason I labelled him a racist. The reason I labelled him a racist is because he implied that one could tell who is and who is not a Muslim by their physical appearance. I mostly agree with the rest of what he says. In particular, I agree that "Islam [is] especially belligerent and inimical to the norms of civil discourse."
But there is another subtlety that Harris misses, apart from the bigoted claim that a person's beliefs can be inferred from how they look: just because Islam is especially belligerent and inimical to the norms of civil discourse, it does not necessarily follow that Muslims are especially belligerent and inimical to the norms of civil discourse. It depends on how you define "Muslim." Of course, if you define a Muslim as someone who follows all of the tenets of Islam, including the belligerent and inimical ones, then it does follow. But this is not the only possible definition of the word "Muslim." Another perfectly reasonable definition of the word is someone who self-identifies as a Muslim. And not all people who self-identify as Muslims adhere to all of the tenets of Islam (even if they think that they do).
I am personally acquainted with several self-identified Muslims who are no more belligerent or inimical to the norms of civil discourse than the next person. I have travelled in Muslim countries and have come away with the impression that the vast majority of the people who live there are perfectly decent human beings.
Yes, it is true that the Quran says all manner of horrible things. But so does the Bible, and somehow the vast majority of people who self-identify as Christians manage to get along without, say, stoning their disobedient children to death despite the fact that the Bible says unambiguously that they should. People have an amazing capacity for letting crazy ideas run around in their heads without actually going crazy.
Make no mistake, there are a lot of Muslims whose adherence to Islam makes them worthy of the distrust that Harris advocates. But it has to be a minority. There are a billion self-identified Muslims in the world. If even half of them were as crazy as Harris fears we world would be engulfed in a conflagration the likes of which the world has never seen. That's not happening.
Harris is not wrong about Islam. His mistake is failing to distinguish between Islam, (self-identified) Muslims, and crazy Muslims. And thinking that you can tell who is who by their appearance.