Dawkins denies comparing 'clock boy' Ahmed Mohamed to ISIS child killer
Richard Dawkins has denied comparing Ahmed Mohamed, the Texan Muslim teenager who was arrested after his homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb, to a child forced to behead people by ISIS.
The eminent atheist professor of biology at Oxford reacted to the news that Ahmed's family was demanding $15m in damages and an apology by tweeting the following:
The tweet was met with strong criticism and Dawkins was forced to apologise and clarify his point was to suggest that children were not beyond criticism just because of their age.
How COULD you think I was likening a hoaxer to a killer? I just meant "Only a kid" is not a knockdown defence. Remember poor James Bulger?— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) November 25, 2015
Dawkins has been sceptical of the teenager's motives when his arrest first hit the headlines, claiming Ahmed had not made the clock but had merely "reassembled." However he denied holding "special animosity" against the teenager.
Dawkins has become something of a twitter sensation with 1.3 million followers. It is not the first time he has caused controversy with his tweets, especially when it comes to his criticism of Islam. However most of his feed is taken up with retweets of those praising his books.