The Richard Dawkins KPFA Radio Ban Is Pure Hypocrisy

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Richard Dawkins was scheduled to appear on American radio, KPFA as part of an event to promote his new book. The radio station have now retracted that invitation and issued the following email to Richard Dawkins and ticket holders:

…KPFA has canceled our event with Richard Dawkins. We had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science, when we didn’t
know he had offended and hurt – in his tweets and other comments on Islam, so many people.
KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech. While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologize for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins views much earlier.

It was all fun and games when Richard Dawkins focussed his ire solely on Christianity. For the most part, the liberal applause was plentiful. After his publication of ‘The God Delusion’ in 2006, accolades followed and he practically became the face of atheism.

Indeed, the vast majority of that seminal book concerned itself primarily with Christianity. This is a detail KPFA were surely aware of before extending their invitation.

But holding irrational Islamic teachings and dogmas to the same standard just won’t do, will it? I’d like to ask KPFA why they think the ‘hurt feelings’ of Muslims weigh more than those of Christians? Also, do they consider the religion of Islam to be perfect? If not, could they name a critic of Islam they deem suitable to talk about it on their airwaves?

We all know these questions will never receive an answer. The mainstream left and so-called liberals have now become enforcers of Islamic blasphemy law, except they use the term ‘Islamophobia’ instead of blasphemy. And they use bans and character assassinations instead of lynching.

This blind spot from my fellow leftists in an otherwise sensible outlook may be forgivable were Islamism not the gigantic threat it is.

Let’s do some accounting. Islamism poses a specific threat to: women, gays, trans folk, liberal Muslims, atheists, apostates and every other faith you can think of. Precisely the sort of minorities the left claims to care about.

I’m currently reporting from the Secular Conference in London. It is filled with the types of people I have just mentioned. Brave apostates, atheists and secular Muslims who are speaking up for liberal values in the face of threats and hostility from all fronts.

Guests and speakers are prohibited from sharing the location of the event to non attendees due to security concerns.

Think about that. A group of people who may speak negatively about Islam cannot meet in England’s capital in 2017 without justified concerns for their safety. I’m at a loss to think of any other topic or ideology that reliably produces these sort of conditions. This fact alone should have self-professed liberals screaming from the rooftops.

Happily, Richard Dawkins is in attendance at the Secular Conference too. Whilst KPFA worry about ‘hurt feelings’, the tireless Professor is out showing solidarity, shoulder to shoulder with those who put their lives in danger every time they open their mouths. These people dream of a day where just their ‘feelings’ hung in the balance.

As part of an art exhibition at the event, artist Victoria Guggenheim presented 99 red balloons – each with an accompanying toe tag displaying the name and ‘crime’ of someone persecuted under Islam.

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Each time a mainstream platform closes down sensible discussion on Islam, or deems its critics persona non grata, these victims are precisely the sort of people they are failing.

You can read Richard Dawkins’ open letter response to KFPA here.

UPDATE 25 July 2017

I spoke to Richard Dawkins at the Secular Conference and asked him about being uninvited by KFPA. You can watch that interview below:

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

10 comments

  • Excellent work as always GS.
    Note that The God Delusion was published in 2006, not 2016.

  • Richard Dawkins, one of the intellectual giants of the 21st century, is a privileged white male and according to the progressive left’s rules is totally unqualified to criticise anything. Muslims are an oppressed non white minority group and anyone who dares to criticise them are therefore oppressors. This is strange since they are certainly not a minority (1.6 billion at last count and Islam could well be described as a supremacist religion whose stated aim is to take over the world.

  • This Godless man is shining light in these darkly dogmatic times. I hope that wasn’t blasphemous. 🙂

  • It’s a travesty to cancel Dawkin’s appearance on the grounds that he might offend by criticizing islam. “Political correctness” strikes again. Shame on you KPFA Radio. EVER HEARD OF FREE SPEECH? An ideaology that claims it is the final religion, demands that gays, infidels, and any one who leaves the muslim “faith” be KILLED needs to be exposed for what it is.

  • “Each time a mainstream platform closes down sensible discussion on Islam, or deems its critics persona non grata, these victims are precisely the sort of people they are failing.”

    Not only that but it gives those on the hard-right with malign intentions an opportunity to look reasonable by comparison. They fill the gap left when reasonable criticism is silenced. It’s counter-productive in every possible way.

  • Pingback: Morning reading: Jeff Tayler on Islam; Godless Spellchecker on Dawkins « Why Evolution Is True

  • Brilliant as ever Stephen! Well done on securing a chat with the great man himself!!

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