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Richard Dawkins interview by Piers Morgan: Watch how a globally acclaimed atheist thinker chooses silence over criticising Islamic terrorism

"If the UK government were more committed to defending free speech by protecting public intellectuals, grammar school teachers, or autistic teenage boys from violence….then maybe this wouldn’t be our fate", tweeted Yasmine Mohammad, an anti-hijab activist and author from the UK.

A video clip from Richard Dawkin’s recent interview with Piers Morgan has been going viral. In that clip, Dawkins is asked to comment about Islamic terrorism and he simply refuses to. The interview was aired on March 21.

The specific discussion happens from 31 minutes onwards in the video above.

PM: You have been accused of being an Islamophobe. Are you an Islamophobe?

RD: I am not an Islamophobe. What I am phobic of is clitoridectomy (female genital mutilation), of throwing gay people off buildings, banning dance and music and fun in general. That’s different from being an Islamophobe. Muslims are the biggest victim of Islamism.

PM: Yes they are. Recently there has been a big debate about allowing this ISIS bride Shamima Begum to come back into our country. Do you have a view on that?

RD: I would rather not say.

PM: You would rather not speak about it?

RD: I haven’t studied enough.

PM: Well, she was married to an ISIS fighter. She was young, 15 years old when she went out there. The debate is about whether she was groomed to be a part of a terror group when she was in Syria, and as such, we should show mercy and allow her back in the country.

RD: I am not gonna say about that.

PM: Are you worried about it (Islamic terrorism)? Do you get threats because of the positions you have taken?

RD: No.

PM: You saw what happened to Salman Rushdie. Didn’t send a shudder for you?

RD: *Shakes head*, mumbles “no”

PM: You said no, you don’t want to talk about it?

RD: Yes.

PM: That’s interesting in itself. So there are areas you would rather not talk about.

RD: Yes. I should have said that before we started.

PM: I think it is sad that you can’t. I don’t think there should be anything that should be off-limits to people like you. The whole point of the world’s smartest thinkers is to be able to have a free and open debate. I don’t think you do. Because people used murderous retribution to threaten free speech.

RD: I am a passionate believer in free speech.

PM: Should there ever be a limit to free speech?

RD: Inside the limit of violence.

After Dawkin’s refusal to speak about Islamic terrorism and its threats against free speech, Piers Morgan then changes the topic to free speech, free thinkers and Oxford University, leading to a discussion about Dawkin’s personal favourite thinkers.

Dawkins is generally regarded as one of the most fearless and open thinkers of our time. His books on evolutionary biology and humanity’s quest to find answers for our existence are extremely popular. He is one of the ‘Four Horsemen’ of Neo-atheism, along with Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. They are termed so because of their views towards the ‘pointlessness’ of religion.

Dawkin’s sudden choice to rather be silent than speak about Islamic terrorism has shocked many on social media.

People termed Dawkin’s silence as an example of how Islamic terrorism operates because it manages to threaten even the wisest minds to shut up to ensure one’s own safety.

One social media user commented that Dawkins silence is what de facto blasphemy laws lead to.

Another user said Dawkins’ behaviour is similar to a witness being silenced with threats of violence.

“If the UK government were more committed to defending free speech by protecting public intellectuals, grammar school teachers, or autistic teenage boys from violence….then maybe this wouldn’t be our fate”, tweeted Yasmine Mohammad, an anti-hijab activist and author from the UK.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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