‘Tedious old racist’: Richard Dawkins under fire for dismissing ‘aggressive’ Muslim prayer
The Arabic phrase – which means ‘God is Greatest’ – is used by Muslims, usually to express gratitude and commitment to Allah, and it’s sung at the beginning of the call to prayer. It also has negative connotations as a number of terrorists have shouted the words before carrying out attacks.
Dawkins, who has previously faced a barrage of criticism for claiming in a 2013 tweet that Islam is the “greatest force for evil in the world today,” was again accused of Islamophobia on Tuesday morning after sending a provocative tweet.
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
High-profile communist reporter Ash Sarkar blasted the atheist author of ‘The God Delusion’ as a “tedious old racist.” Meanwhile, other Twitter users said that rather than Dawkins being influenced by what he branded his “cultural upbringing,” he was instead mired by “prejudice.”
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
It's just prejudice, mate. https://t.co/XlkU6FjNtF— Aditya Chakrabortty (@chakrabortty) July 17, 2018
Muezzin is one of the most beautiful sounds - lovely memories of floating down the Nile at sunset with the call to prayer echoing all around. Yes Richard, it is your ‘cultural upbringing’ if that’s what you want to call it.— Katy Brand (@KatyFBrand) July 17, 2018
It's your simple racism poking through, Richard, nothing more, nothing less. Different calls to prayer are equally beautiful and ugly, depending on one's mood. Unless one is too thick to climb out of one’s own embedded bigotry.— CJ (@christt) July 17, 2018
Last year Dawkins was barred from attending an event hosted by KPFA Radio in Berkeley, California, because of his “abusive speech against Islam.” But in an open letter to the organizers, the writer insisted he “never used abusive speech against Islam” and was instead targeting ‘Islamism,’ a fundamentalist interpretation of the religion.
Dawkins also made the headlines in 2015 when he questioned the motives of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy who was wrongly arrested in the US after his teacher thought a clock he made was a bomb, and back in 2013 drew fire for comparing Islam and Nazi Germany.
If this is true, what was his motive? Whether or not he wanted the police to arrest him, they shouldn’t have done so https://t.co/LtOFAAmVxK— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
Of course you can have an opinion about Islam without having read Qur'an. You don't have to read Mein Kampf to have an opinion about nazism.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) March 25, 2013
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