by Michael Brown
By cancelling a talk by famed scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins, leftwing progressives have engaged in an ugly double standard, further exposing their hypocrisy.
As reported by the Independent, Dawkins was scheduled to speak on the Berkeley campus in August but the event was canceled after organizers learned about his criticisms of Islam.
What about his strong criticisms of Christianity? What about his attacks on the Bible? What about his horrific description of the God of the Old Testament? Did any of this bother the organizers, who were from the radio station KPFA, billed as a “progressive” station?
According to Dawkins, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” (From his book The God Delusion.)
Was this OK with KFPA, which recently featured a show on the theme of “Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left”?
In the past, Dawkins questioned whether it was acceptable for parents to teach their religious beliefs to their children. He wrote, “Isn’t it always a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs that they are too young to have thought about?”
Did this kind of statement trouble the organizers? Apparently not. Rather, it was Dawkins’ tweets about Islam that got his event cancelled. As the organizers explained, “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.”
Of course, it’s possible that the organizers didn’t know everything about Dawkins’ attacks on Christianity and the Bible, but I seriously question if they would have banned him for this. Perhaps they would have even applauded these attacks, since it’s always in style to bash the Bible.
Put another way, bash Christians, you’re a hero; bash Muslims, you’re a zero. Bash Christians, we’ll cheer you; bash Muslims, we’ll jeer you.
Dawkins himself noted the double standard, writing, “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 criticize Christianity but not Islam?”
That’s the real gist of the question. Had the organizers cancelled the event because they wanted to focus on science and didn’t want Dawkins to bring his anti-God, anti-religious baggage with him, that would have been one thing. But to cancel his event because of his criticism of Islam? This is highly instructive.
To ask again: Were the organizers totally unaware that Dawkins had “hurt and offended” millions of Christians and Jews over the years? Did they only know of him as a science writer? This strains credulity.
Focusing on Twitter, how about this April, 2015 tweet on Dawkins’ Twitter account, linking to a video where he is “exploding at b—s— in the Bible”? Or how about this one, from June, 2017, which states, “God: the most unpleasant character in all fiction”?
Did none of these tweets concern KPFA? Again, it appears not, since it is only Islam, not the Bible, which is somehow exempt from criticism on the left.
It’s also ridiculous to argue that radical Islam is not abusive but criticism of radical Islam is abusive. As one commenter on Twitter observed, “‘Kill the infidel’, beheadings, enslaving women, taking children as wives etc are not abusive. However, accusing these disgusting beliefs is?”
Dawkins himself wrote in response to his Berkeley event being cancelled, “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.”
So, Dawkins has condemned what could be called the anti-progressive aspects of Islam. Yet for this he is de-platformed by the so-called progressive left, which once again feels the need to fend off criticism of Islam while ignoring criticism of the Bible and the Christian faith.
The progressives remain true to form.