Richard Dawkins seemed to let his true colours slip with a tweet on 16 July. The biologist was sitting in Winchester Cathedral grounds when he tweeted:
Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great mediaeval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding “Allahu Akhbar.” Or is that just my cultural upbringing? pic.twitter.com/TpCkq9EGpw
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) July 16, 2018
In response, people on social media called Dawkins “racist”:
Turns out “The God Delusion” was just the collective insistence that Richard Dawkins was a philosopher and not just a tedious old racist. https://t.co/VuPxwPquf2
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) July 17, 2018
People carrying out terrorist atrocities in the name of Islam have also reportedly cried ‘Allahu Akbar’. But that doesn’t mean they get to own the term. In characterising Allahu Akbar as “aggressive-sounding”, Dawkins is allowing terrorists to do just that. He’s essentially handing over the term to a tiny minority of violent extremists while ignoring the world’s roughly 1.8 billion Muslims.
“Back on their bullshit”
Basically, Dawkins is bringing forward terrorists as representative of the entire Muslim population. So people are calling out his “bullshit”:
We regret to inform you the New Atheists are back on their bullshit https://t.co/xL3NUEBMKz
— Dawn Foster (@DawnHFoster) July 17, 2018
The only thing missing here is the 'Free Tommy Robinson' hashtag https://t.co/qeCGGAp8k2
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) July 17, 2018
Seriously though. How racist do you have to be to be out in the sunshine, enjoying your environment and think:
“Thank goodness this isn’t all Muslim-y!” https://t.co/lKZTG9UpJn
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) July 17, 2018
Others pointed out that, ironically, Dawkins often calls for rational logic over emotional responses:
Yes, Richard Dawkins’s tweet is awful, and when you look at what he said just two tweets before… 🤦🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/WSGFIF6dTg
— Alex von Tunzelmann (@alexvtunzelmann) July 17, 2018
Not so rational
Dawkins has form on bashing Islam in particular. He’s said that “I think Islam is one of the great evils of the world” and “Muslims as a group haven’t achieved anything worthwhile since the Middle Ages.”
But his apparent bigotry doesn’t stop there. In the past, Dawkins has also promoted victim-blaming. For example, the atheist likened a drunk woman getting raped to drink-driving. Apparently, for Dawkins, a man attacking and raping a woman is the woman’s fault if she decided to drink alcohol. He’s also championed the dangerous myth that false accusations are more prominent in rape cases.
Dawkins claims to be rationally minded. In reality, he swallows myths wholesale and seems to lack the capacity or drive to challenge his preconceived ideas. Get in the bin.
Featured image via Fronteirasweb/ Flickr