Biologist and author Richard Dawkins has sparked a backlash after saying cathedral bells were “so much nicer than the aggressive-sounding ‘Allahu Akhbar'”.
The renowned professor posted a picture of himself in front of a cathedral in Twitter with the comment: “Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great medieval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding Allahu Akbar. Or is that just my cultural upbringing?”.”
His comments have sparked a backlash online, with angry retorts pouring in from people across the world.
They include Fatima Bhutto, niece of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who replied to the tweet with her own message saying: “No, it’s your bigotry.”
Actor Catherine Russell described the tweet as “horribly disappointing”, adding: “And I say this as a huge admirer of your thinking & writing. Shame”.
Journalist Ash Sarkar branded the biologist a “tedious old racist”, while Guardian journalist Aditya Chakrabortty described the comment as “just prejudice”.
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Some accused Dawkins of attention-seeking, saying he was making deliberately controversial comments while one person branded him an “intolerant and irrational bully”.
And many tried to point out the lack of aggression in the Muslim call to prayer.
What a horribly disappointing tweet form you. And I say this as a huge admirer of your thinking & writing. Shame.
— Catherine Russell (@catherinerusse2) July 17, 2018
Turns out “The God Delusion” was just the collective insistence that Richard Dawkins was a philosopher and not just a tedious old racist. https://t.co/VuPxwPquf2
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) July 17, 2018
It's just prejudice, mate. https://t.co/XlkU6FjNtF
— Aditya Chakrabortty (@chakrabortty) July 17, 2018
It’s not the first time the scientist has sparked criticism.
In the past compared a Muslim boy arrested in the US after his teacher thought a clock he made was a bomb to an ISIS soldier, and previously also compared Islam to Nazi Germany.
He also described a Islam as the “most evil religion in the world” and was later banned from an event in California because of what was described as his “abusive speech against Islam”.