Tuesday, July 25, 2017

USA: Richard Dawkins' 'Islamophobia' causes Berkeley speaking event cancellation


The station, which is not affiliated with the University of California, said in a letter - which Mr Dawkins published online - that it does not support "hurtful" or "abusive speech".

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: BBC News
By BBC News | July 24, 2017

[Excerpt]

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has denied Islamophobia after a US radio station cancelled his forthcoming speech.

The best-selling author had been due to address an event hosted by KPFA Radio in Berkeley, California, in August.

Organisers accused him of "abusive speech against Islam" when scrapping his appearance, but he argues his criticism was not directed at Islam.

He called on the station to review his past remarks and apologise.

In a letter to ticket-holders, the publicly funded radio station wrote: "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."

The station, which is not affiliated with the University of California, said in a letter - which Mr Dawkins published online - that it does not support "hurtful" or "abusive speech".

It also apologised "for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins views much earlier".

Local media report that Bay Area residents had brought attention to statements made by the author of the anti-religion book The God Delusion, including a 2013 tweet saying "Islam is the greatest force for evil in the world today".

In an open letter to organisers, Professor Dawkins wrote that he "never used abusive speech against Islam".

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