Richard Dawkins has been 'no-platformed' by a US radio station who dropped him after discovering his 'abusive speech' against Islam. Dawkins protested that he was not abusive, but made no apology for criticising the 'oppressive cruelties of Islamism'.
Dawkins, renowned evolutionary biologist and vocal critic of religion, was due to speak about his latest bookScience in the Soul: Collected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist, at an event for the Berkeley, CA based radio station KPFA on August 9.
However, KFPA cancelled the talk last Thursday, according to The Independent. The station explained in an email: '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.
'While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologise for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins's views much earlier.'
The author of The God Delusion responded that he was 'astonished' by the move. In an open letter in response, he said: 'The idea that I have engaged in abusive speech against Islam is preposterous, which even the most rudimentary fact-checking by KPFA would have made clear.
'I have indeed strongly condemned the misogyny, homophobia, and violence of Islamism, of which Muslims — particularly Muslim women — are the prime victims. I make no apologies for denouncing those oppressive cruelties, and I will continue to do so.'
He noted that he 'used to love' KFPA, which he said was once the 'iconic home of free speech'.
Dawkins added: 'I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?'
Dawkins has increasingly come under fire in recent years for incendiary comments made on Twitter, frequently taking aim at 'Islamism'. He stoked controversy again at the weekend, protesting that a London Gay Pride march had banned the sign 'Allah is Gay' but didn't ban the Christian equivalent of 'Jesus is Gay'.
He said it was 'KFPA-grade hypocrisy!'