Ed Driscoll

Two Atheists In One!

“What is this ‘Islam’ of Which You Speak?”, Chad of the Fraters Libertas blog quips, paraphrasing Richard Dawkins’ recent appearance on Al-Jazeera:

While you may not agree with the views of the new breed of aggressive atheists who have emerged in recent years you have to admire their courage for bravely standing up and speaking truth to power against the various religious institutions whose integrity they seek to undermine. No matter what consequences they might face, they aren’t afraid to lay out their case against religion in terms that are often harsh and sure to offend.

Here is an example from an article called ‘Facing uncomfortable truths’

In a recent Al-Jazeerah interview, Richard Dawkins was asked his views on God. He argued that the god of “the Old Testament” is “hideous” and “a monster”, and reiterated his claim from The God Delusion that the God of the Torah is the most unpleasant character “in fiction”.

As you can see, Dawkins has no trouble attacking the Hebrew God in a most direct and uncompromising manner. No atheist wallflower he.

Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: “Well, um, the God of the Koran I don’t know so much about.”

How can it be that the world’s most fearless atheist, celebrated for his strident opinions on the Christian and Jewish Gods, could profess to know so little about the God of the Koran? Has he not had the time? Or is Professor Dawkins simply demonstrating that most crucial trait of his species: survival instinct.

Based on this 2011 interview, in which Dawkins says on camera that “I regard Islam as one of the great evils of the world,” I’d say the answer is the latter. As Tim Blair (or perhaps Andrew Bolt sitting in for Tim) writes in the Sydney Telegraph, “Curious that he should offer a milder view when speaking more recently with Al Jazeera:”