Statement on Cancellation of Richard Dawkins Event

KPFA cancelled a book event with Richard Dawkins when members of our community brought our attention to Dawkins’ abusive speech against Muslims. The speech we reviewed included assertions during his current book tour that Islam is the “most evil” of world religions, Twitter posts denigrating Muslim scholars as non-scholars and other tweets.

We serve a broad and diverse community, including many Muslims living under threat of persecution and violence in the current political context. Islamophobic rhetoric stokes that threat. While Mr. Dawkins has every right to express his views, KPFA has every right not to sponsor and profit from an event spreading them. That is what we’ve done.

KPFA’s events organizers notified Mr. Dawkins’ publicist at Random House when we first started considering cancellation of his event, and again once we made the final decision to do so, which was before notice was sent out to ticket holders.

We have since extended an offer to Mr. Dawkins to discuss this matter on KPFA’s airwaves, a forum where his assertions can be engaged and challenged, but KPFA will have no financial stake in promoting them. He has not yet responded.  

 

Links to stories on this from KPFA and other outlets

 

KPFA News story

 

KPFA Sunday Show with Philip Maldari open phones to callers on the subject

 

KPFA Letters and Politics with Mitch Jeserich

 

New York Times Article

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/us/richard-dawkins-speech-canceled-berkeley.html

 

Guardian Article

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/24/richard-dawkins-event-cancelled-over-his-abusive-speech-against-islam

  • woodrose

    The Left is losing me over the issue of multiculturalism. What is the point of working for feminist laws and values in our American culture, then welcoming a family who believes women are property into the house next door as my new neighbors? And their culture is just as good as mine, or I’m a racist xenophobic bigot.

    I was a 30 year contributor to KPFA, but no more. I support Richard Dawkins, NOT any of the Abrahamic religions.

    I think this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Not sure KPFA can survive losing any contributors. It was a good run, while it lasted.

    • Paul Karrer

      Right on 1000%! Thank you.

    • Stefan du Maurier

      Well said woodrose.

    • filmklassik

      What you fail to understand is that many people’s views on this issue are not governed by logic, they are governed by emotion. So you can’t simply say to them, “Hey! I see you condemning religions X & Y for preaching hatred and intolerance, but you give a pass to religion Z. What gives??”

      These people associate Christianity with the GOP, the American South, conservative politics, Colonialism, and the oppressive patriarchal Western tradition.

      And they associate Islam with various aggrieved minority groups. In other words, Muslims are The Oppressed. So shut up about Islam.

      Hence their double standard.

      • vivalamigra

        Amen.

      • Vedicculture

        ah, all created by the jews. maybe whites need to stop believing jewish nationalism is “their” nationalism.

        • Ooh-Bigtime

          This issue has nothing to do with Jewish nationalism. Supporting the right of the Jewish people (Jewish by either ethnic extraction, religious choice or both) to live in their ancestral homeland (which was stolen from them resulting in the last hundreds and hundreds of years of oppression, genocide and persecution until the world community stepped in and gave it back to them) is a thing that ALL JUST people do. They actually HAVE been victimized and oppressed, unlike the folks you defend, but it’s beside this point and THIS has nothing to do with them. You digress in this way b/c of your prejudice, so you deriding prejudice against Muslims, (NOT an ethnicity unlike “Judean” or “Samarran”) when their ideology gives detailed, ample reason for worry by all/any non Muslim (“infidel”) is ill informed, TRULY racist and wrong. If you want to defend the people, decry the fact that Islam victimizes the whole of the Middle Eastern peoples with it’s oppression, it’s insistence to be ignorant and demand that all non Muslims be converted, taxed unfairly or killed. The nation of Israel has had some policies that ought be criticized, but ultimately it’s their business and they happen to be the only peaceful democracy in the Middle East

          • Richard Akers

            Isn’t it odd how the creation of self-determination of an oppressed people has gone from a very much LIBERAL idea to one despised by so much of the left? It’s almost as if we have experienced a paradigm shift in perceptions over the last several decades.

          • rch427

            “Supporting the right of the Jewish people (Jewish by either ethnic
            extraction, religious choice or both) to live in their ancestral
            homeland (which was stolen from them resulting in the last hundreds and
            hundreds of years of oppression, genocide and persecution until the
            world community stepped in and gave it back to them) is a thing that ALL
            JUST people do.”

            Apparently, you missed the story of how the Jews happened to come by “their ancestral homeland”. It’s contained in a book called “the Tanakh”, which was later incorporated into another book called “the Holy Bible”. If you actually *read* it, you’ll discover that it explicitly says that the Jews came TO the area, which was already populated by other peoples, killed and/or enslaved those peoples, and took the land for themselves. And irony alert: the Tanakh was written . . . get this — by JEWS! Yes, in the Books of Leviticus through Judges, they readily state that they slaughtered the inhabitants of the dozens of kingdoms that they passed through on their way to what is now Israel. Men, women, the elderly, children — in some cases, even all of the animals! — put to the sword of the invading Israelites. Oh, and all of the valuables that belonged to those peoples? Looted by the Israelites.

            So if you’re truly in support of indigenous peoples and their right to
            their ancestral homelands, you need to be supporting returning Jerusalem
            to the Jebusites, from whom the invading Israelites took it by force. And then demanding reparations for the Midianites, the Moabites, the Amelakites, and dozens of others whom the Israelites practiced genocide and ethnic cleansing towards, IN THEIR OWN WORDS.

          • Tony Gaskin

            To be fair, I do recall that Jehovah did stop them harming a tree. Men, women, children, asses, all dead as dodos but he did draw the line as arboricide. Never could quite work out the moral point of that one but I quite like trees so you take what you can get I suppose.

          • HiHo

            Note, however, that the Jebusites, Amelekites, Midianites, Moabites etc. are extinct peoples, while Jews definitely are not. .

            The idea that modern day Palestinians are direct descendants of these peoples that have persisted intact through the millenia has essentially no support, and a lot of evidence is to the contrary. However Jews came about, there is no question that they are indigenous to the region.

          • rch427

            “Note, however, that the Jebusites, Amelekites, Midianites, Moabites etc. are extinct peoples, while Jews definitely are not.”

            That’s as absurd as saying that the Franks or Gauls “are extinct peoples”. We don’t know what the specific ethnotypes of the inhabitants of those
            kingdoms were. It may be that they were as genetically similar as say,
            Walloonian Belgians are to the French, and Flemish Belgians are to the
            Dutch. It may be that the direct descendants of those peoples are alive today,
            subsumed into the greater (non-Jewish) populations of the area today.

            And we don’t even know if the claims made in the Tanakh about the Israelites wiping out every inhabitant of those kingdoms, are true.

            “However Jews came about, there is no question that they are indigenous to the region.”

            The VAST majority of Jews today are more Indo-European than they are Semitic. So privileging today’s Jews because they might contain 25% genetic material from the ancient inhabitants of modern-day Israel is nonsensical.

          • HiHo

            No, it is not absurd. Firstly a ‘people” isn’t a mere genetic lineage. A people is a social political and cultural group (a “nation, community or ethnic group”). Given that there is no cultural/historical/political continuity between Jebusites etc and any modern day people, one does not have to accept any Biblical story to know that those peoples are extinct. Assuredly they had descendants, but as a people they are extinct.

            I find it peculiar that you bring up genetics, as I did not. The Jewish PEOPLE are an ethno-religious self identifying group that has persisted in continuity. When we look at other indigenous peoples (for example, North American Aboriginals) , we do not insist on blood purity of the individuals to ask whether they are members of those peoples. What we do ask is whether or not any individual is accepted by those people and can claim valid descent. Jews carry a definite Levantine signature in their genetic material, originated from the Levant historically, and have maintained cultural and personal self identification as a distinct people.

            I don’t know why you bring up “privilege”. Historical, anthropological, linguistic and genetic facts are not “privilege”. No matter how you slice it, Jews are one of the indigenous peoples of the Levant.

      • Derek_V

        Thank you for illustrating in simple terms the utter stupidity of people that are driven by emotion.

    • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

      I’m glad that more people are starting to wake up to what leftism really is. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that many people are starting to wake to what leftism is not. It may take a bit more time before people who are committed to various identity groups fully understand how they have been used and turned against their fellow Americans. But the key first step is understanding, at a gut level, that those who would have all of us give up more and more control over our own lives do NOT necessarily have our best interests at heart.

      • john

        Paint with a wider brush – you haven’t pulled in everyone you hate.

        • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

          Of the handful of individuals about whom I feel strongly enough to have negative emotions approaching hate, only one is a leftist. I can’t think of any group identify that neatly captures other three, so I would indeed have to widen the brush to capture them.

    • BuzzK

      Another vote for Trump.

    • rickflick

      The “left” is split into two main groups now. The social just is warriors, multicultural zealots, who would limit free speech, on the one hand and classical liberals on the other hand who hold free speech at the highest level. I consider myslelf still a liberal but classical.

      • black rabbit

        Classical liberalism has not been part of the left for at least a century now.

        • rickflick

          By classical, I’m talking about the 1960. Classical liberals have a progressive agenda and sympathy for the oppressed. The regressives are an outcome of the post modernist trend that became widespread in certain fields of academia after that time. So, regressive left are those who stress cultural relativity. If Muslims stone women to death in Afghanistan, that’s OK because they are brown people who have a different but equally valid morality.

          • Richard Akers

            I read John Rawls theories of social Justice when I was a teenager in the 60s, and that pretty much defined liberalism at the time.

            Today’s regressives do not follow an actual ideology, but are simply the product of a very simple program of social conditioning where they receive props from their peeps if they say one thing and get called the sorts of names the opponents of free speech are calling others here.

          • black rabbit

            I get what you’re saying but that’s not what “classical liberal” means.

          • rickflick

            If that’s the case, then I need another term to express what I mean. How about neo-classical? In any event, I’m simply trying to hold onto the difference between the liberalism I knew 20 or 30 years ago and the regressives. We neo-classicals are still around and constitute a large and important part of the social scene. The regressives, or authoritarian left as Jerry Coyne likes to call them, are a recent phenomenon which has grabbed a lot of attention lately. The two should not be confused by calling every one on the left, “liberals”.

          • rickflick

            Note, for example, KPFA. It used to be neo-classically liberal in the 1970s when Richard Dawkins first spent time here. Free speech around the University was paramount. Now KPFA is profoundly regressive, requiring a purity test for those who would speak. Deplatforming a neo-classical liberal and renowned scientist for questioning the values of Islam.

          • black rabbit

            Nowadays I nearly always qualify the word liberal with an adjective. Classical liberal, progressive liberal, socialist liberal, sjw liberal…

            Regressive liberal is mostly just an insult, use it where appropriate. For leftists (marxists/communists), liberal itself is an insult. SJWs consider SJW to be an insult, and will go all SJWy on you for saying it.

            I’d say progressive liberalism still describes that ’60s thing, although there was a lot of Marxism wrapped up in that then too, and the postmodern thing grew out of the Marxist/Hegelian dialectic. Postmodern left is descriptive too. Be creative in your search for descriptive terms and have fun with it!

    • sister_h

      If you are that good at mind-reading your “new neighbors” then it’s very possible that you ARE a racist xenophobic bigot, unbeknownst to yourself all these years. The mistake you’re making is an essentialist one — you are assuming that someone’s identity as a Muslim is a guarantee that they believe and do terrible things, that inhumane and backward behavior is deterministic based on someone’s religious identity. That is a terrible and bigoted way to approach people who are different from yourself. Many otherwise nice Americans in 1942 convinced themselves that Japanese Americans who were Buddhist and Shinto followers were by definition emperor-worshipping liabilities and that it was reasonable to forcibly exclude them and incarcerate them.

      This is not even an issue of the left. It’s a basic civil liberties issue. Should KPFA raise funds by giving a platform to a person who is willing to scapegoat people based on their religion? I don’t think so. KPFA has offered appropriately to have Dawkins on the air where he can present and defend his opinions.

      • woodrose

        Taliban supporters do not support feminism. It is ridiculous to pretend that is even within the realm of possibility. Omar Matteen, the US born son of a Taliban Dad, raised in the US, grew up to kill 49 gay people in an Orlando nightclub. Why is it in my interest as an American feminist to have pockets of Taliban culture in the US?

        Why it is in my interest as an American feminist to have 2nd generation Muslims looking overseas for a bride in a burqa, as the San Bernardino mass shooter did?

        Why is it in my interest as an American feminist to have more and more people moving into the country everyday who can be most confidently predicted to not share my values as a feminist? Is it really racist to simply ask that we turn off the spigot? Why is it in my interest that they be encouraged to live their culture in America, in the name of multiculturalism?

        Why do American leftists want to import people into America who practice female genital mutilation — people were recently arrested doing this on young girls in the US. How can that possibly be in the interest of American feminists?

        American communities are suffering terribly from lack of social cohesion. Read the work of Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam to understand how mass immigration and multiculturalism have destroyed community cohesion and trust among neighbors.

        As an older white American, I have watched as my beloved country has completely changed in color and culture during my lifetime. The high school that I graduated from, that prepared me to go to a good university and get a degree in engineering, is now majority Latino and rated a 1 out of 10 on the Zillow real estate web site. It’s covered in graffitti and my old neighborhood is called Little Mexico. It is sophistry to expect me to celebrate this diversity. This is a tragedy, and people need to be able to talk about it honestly.

        America is the only industrialized country with a population growth rate of a Third World country, solely due to the high rate of immigration and the high birth rate of the young immigrants. How does it benefit the people already here to allow the US to become overcrowded? We haven’t built the infrastructure to accommodate the new people.

        Lefties need to learn that people being willing to wear blinders in the name of political correctness died on November 8, 2016.

        • sister_h

          It’s in your interest to confront your inner racist. Do you actually know any Muslims? (Do they like you? Are you able to be civil to them?)

          In my city/county, American Muslims are a significant part of the progressive movement. I know non-profit social service providers, civil rights attorneys, college professors, college students, engineers, ACLU volunteers, elementary school principals, stay-at-home moms, and progressive activists.

          • woodrose

            I was called a white supremacist white privileged racist so often for supporting the white guy from the white state, Bernie Sanders, that the words have lost all meaning.

            Lefties probably should learn that name calling doesn’t win over voters or supporters.

          • Ooh-Bigtime

            I truly suspect this person might be intentionally trying to push reasonable people farther to the right simply through disgust at her ridiculous denials and her posing as a liberal. I mean, she can’t be for real, right?
            I hope you’ll simply hold your ground; I will as well, since liberal democracy doesn’t benefit from having zero nuance we ought remain moderate but debunk her as you so expertly have so far.

          • Ooh-Bigtime

            What “inner racist”? she never mentioned any person’s ethnicity, and you know it, so there’s been no racism, Sorry! You can’t just fib openly on comment forums w/o being called what you are.
            Pants ablaze, you’ll probably continue.

          • rch427

            “American Muslims are a significant part of the progressive movement”

            BULLSHIT. If they are part of the progressive movement — which supports sexual freedom, individual choice, equality for women, animal rights, etc. — then they are by definition, apostates and therefore not good Muslims. You CANNOT be a righteous Muslim if you think, speak or act against the words of the Qur’an, since it was declared to be the word of Allah himself, perfect and never-changing. Claiming otherwise is as absurd as claiming to be a “strict Constitutionalist” and supporting Donald Trump. They are patently incompatible.

        • Atanu_Dey

          Woodrose, well said. Very well said, indeed.

      • Stephan Meier

        I think it’s a real shame that Richard Dawkins of all people be scapegoated here. And yes it’s a fair point to give the hypothetical “neighbors” the benefit of the doubt regardless of their religion, so surely the same can be said for Dawkins despite a few out of context quotes. And is it really necessary to throw labels like ‘racist xenophobic bigot’ around, if we want to talk about out of context quotes…

        Regardless of whether you agree or not with his views (and I’m confident almost all who follow him and think critically have found at least a few areas where they disagree), you have to admit that he is far more capable of putting together a coherent if provoking argument than most, and getting people to engage in critical thinking as they analyze it, especially in this age of fake news, is a worthy goal in of itself. Or have we reached the point that only views we can all agree with should be given a platform? Perhaps it is time to cue the elevator music and bland stories everyone swallows hook line and sinker… And wait for the next round of fake news to be swallowed up by the numb listeners as ‘the truth’ and the decline in our democracy continuing…. A sad day indeed.

      • Ooh-Bigtime

        Nobody’s assuming a person’s beliefs, or their identity. First, there isn’t any “religious identity”, it’s a religious CHOICE. If that choice is Islam, there are specific requirements outlined in the books that were written when Islam was invented which state specific things, the only way a person is to hope a Muslim doesn’t mean to either convert or kill the “infidels” (everyone not Muslim is called this) is to hope they are “bad Muslims”, meaning they do not follow the Quran & Hadith, because if they do, they AT LEAST and at very minimum give aid/comfort/support to those Muslims who DO kill or convert infidels. They MUST. It’s in the texts.
        If you don’t know this, you are unqualified to discuss this subject, and if you DO know it, your lying about it’s tenets to “deceive the Infidels” is another requirement of the religion and proof that worry is reasonable when dealing with the ideology’s adherents.
        In 1942, the Japanese invasion Commander called an Ex-Pat Japanese barber across from Pearl Harbor to ask in Japanese if the ships were in port, those people were interned b/c of being Japanese, an innate characteristic, not for their choice of religion and you know it, and are lying about it. Regardless, you are proving there’s reason for mistrust of ppl who choose that religion because of your obvious fibs.

  • pckillah1

    You’re ignorant on two counts:
    1. Cancelling Dawkins’ appearance
    2. Not being aware of Dawkins’ position on Islam in the first place

  • Lurker111

    Y’know, back in school, if I wrote a paper where I pulled quotations out of context to bolster my theme or thesis, I’d’ve gotten an F on the paper. And probably had my a** chewed out by the instructor on top of that.

    Go back and find the original talk Dawkins gave on the topic, and maybe add in the paragraphs just ahead and afterward.

    Once you start to pull quotations out of context, deliberately, you’ve crossed over into Propagandaland.

    • imimarla

      Seems to be epidemic nowadays in USA to produce this type of news or decisions. No wonder in a country where a habitual, pathological liar is President!

  • Stephen Lamm

    As a prior listener & financial supporter of KPFA, I’m appalled at your decision. As loathe as I am to say it, maybe the wing nuts who rail against political-correctness-run-amok have a point. I never thought KPFA would give me a reason to agree with the likes of Rush Limbaugh; more’s the pity. It is time to re-consider what you stand for, KPFA.

    • Ben Staniford

      Yes, I’ve always hated the term political correctness because I find it’s generally used by people who want to justify hate. However, this development has shown me that it really does exist as an unpleasant concept.. 🙁

      • Kendall Powers

        I was in the same boat. Thought it was an overused and trite way of trivializing basic respect. But those on the right decrying this PC-gone-amuck have a point, as I have been coming around to see this past year. This is icing on the cake.

        • filmklassik

          It really is off the chain now. It’s nuts. There was a time when liberals didn’t care about the color of your skin or what god you prayed to, if you were an oppressor — if you were evil or in the wrong — they condemned you. (I can still remember Sean Penn and other Hollywood liberals standing up for Salman Rushdie in the wake of the fatwa issued against him in 1989).

          No longer.

          Now, if you do not like Jews, and want to lock up gays, and believe women are second-class citizens, and think apostates should be murdered … and you happen to be Muslim … many liberals will give you a pass.

          Like for example, KPFA’s Bob Baldock, who told the Washington Post recently that Richard Dawkins should “butt out” of the Muslim issue because of the suffering endured by Muslims in the West and around the world.

          So it’s cool to mock and condemn Christianity for its many repulsive tenets. But Islam? Butt out.

          • Vedicculture

            rolf, do not like jews? What does that mean idiot?

          • filmklassik

            “Not liking Jews” means having a serious dislike for Jews, Jewry and the Jewish religion.

            Sorry. I should have clarified.

          • Ooh-Bigtime

            Vedicculture, are you trying to claim Islam doesn’t demand believers kill Jews, gays, apostates and oppress women?
            I’d say to follow what it’s says, you’d have to have some tiny dislike for them, no? I mean, unless you’re just a psychopath, right?

        • Derek_V

          Better late than never.

      • Peter from Oz

        It’s funny how the left talks about ”hate” like 10 year old in the playground. We on the right don’t use the term, because we know it is emotive hyperbole.
        So often we are accused of ”hating ” gays because we oppose gay marriage, or hating women because we don’t agree with some tenet of feminism. Sometime we supposedly hate blacks because we don’t agree with affirmative action. That’s all bollocks. We don’t ”hate’ anyone, what we hate is being deminised by the fascist left with its emotive and hyperbolic use of language. Maybe, just maybe we despise the activists for all the so-called victim groups. It is these activists with their puritan need to find more behaviour or words that somehow are offensive who really get up our noses. And now we see the left once again devour one of its own, in the form of the good Prof Dawkins, and we weep at the sorry state to which public discourse has come.
        Sinistra delenda est

        • Vedicculture

          You hate whites, that is for sure. The emotive shit you whine about is using jewish ideology as a replacement for own cultural traditions. That is what your zionism is. When that is attacked, you go SJW on everybody.

          • Peter from Oz

            That post must get today’s award for the best send up of a ranting fool getting hold of the wrong end of the stick

        • Ooh-Bigtime

          It’s a discussion, it’s a thing that extremists on both sides deride. Congrats on speaking false phrases in dead languages, you’re a Catholic! XD Good for you, really.
          I really hate being deminised myself, since that’s a tool of Satin.

          • Peter from Oz

            Tool of Satin is good.

            But One doesn’t have to be a tyke to drop a Latin tag.

          • JIMMY SPERLING

            I love Satin 😉

      • vivalamigra

        As soon as pic became fashionable I knew it was the liberal version of burning books.

    • John Weiss

      It started with “all people are equal and deserve equal treatment.” I agree 100%.

      But then it turned into “all beliefs are equal” which is impossible.

    • sister_h

      Wow, if that’s all it took for you to go from KPFA listener and supporter to Dittohead … well, was it just inertia that kept you on KPFA’s side all these years?

      • Ooh-Bigtime

        So, agreeing that “political correctness has gone too far when it directly opposes liberal values by supporting a violent cult’s ideas” (a fact) means he’s a “dittohead”? No, it merely agrees that even a broken clock is right twice every 24 hours. Another fact.

      • Richard Akers

        No, not at all. You are simply unable to discuss ideas as ideas since you live in a binary world where a person has to align 100% with one form of utter dogmatism or face accusations of aligning with another. Free yourself from this Manichaean view of the world and you might begin to understand what Dawkins has and has not said.

        You see yourself as part of tribe “progressive” and so war against what you perceive as tribe conservative. I would suggest learning the basics of liberal principles, instead.

  • Ben Staniford

    Why would it surprise you to learn that a renowned Atheist thinks that Islam and Christianity are fundamentally bad things? Your de-platforming is a deeply disturbing development and it should chill reasonable people everywhere (as indeed it has thankfully judging from the reaction). Criticism != Hate.

  • Jennifer Howd

    KPFA, I respected you guys and see this as a betrayal of what I thought were shared ideals. I will never listen to you again, and every time I hear your name I will think unhappy thoughts. Dawkins is 100% correct–Islam is the crummiest of the major religions.

    • Atanu_Dey

      Hear, hear.

      “Islam is the crummiest of the major religions.” I concur.

  • Couch_Incident

    Why not report the context? Too much there to prevent a knee-jerk reaction?

    “It’s tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it’s a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they’re not,” he added.

    “If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.

    “It’s terribly important to modify that because of course that doesn’t mean all Muslims are evil, very far from it. Individual Muslims suffer more from Islam than anyone else.

    “They suffer from the homophobia, the misogyny, the joylessness which is preached by extreme Islam, Isis and the Iranian regime.

    “So it is a major evil in the world, we do have to combat it, but we don’t do what Trump did and say all Muslims should be shut out of the country. That’s draconian, that’s illiberal, inhumane and wicked. I am against Islam not least because of the unpleasant effects it has on the lives of Muslims.”

    • Emma

      THANK you for taking the time to share the entire quote with us. What a difference context makes!

    • Bharti Parihar

      Thank you for sharing ALL of the information and allowing people to decide ON THEIR OWN.

    • Patrick

      Thanks for providing the full context. KPFA’s quote mining demonstrates gross dishonesty.

    • Jerry Coyne

      Shame on KPFA for taking a quote out of context. The original quote makes clear that this is criticism of religious dogma, not religious individuals. It’s not “Islamophobia.” Shame on KPFA for acting in this reprehensibly non-journalistic way. At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

      • Yamil Abugattas

        Agreed. Purposefully omitting the context is outrageously dishonest.

      • Unhiddenness

        A bit weird for someone like you (who encourages hate campaigns against people that make fun of your nose) to talk about “decency,” but whatever.

      • laughing tyger

        Something to keep in mind: Islam is far more than a religion. Islam is an ideology that contains a religion and religion is not the bulk of the ideology. The bulk of Islam is political and legal as well as lifestyle dictates.

        Islam dictates foreign policy, treaties, gender roles viv a vis rights, the rights of non Muslims (Kufar, Infidels) and is a system of conquest that includes methods and tactics of war and even how treaties are handled. Islam dictates what is legal and illegal as well as the punishments for breaking the law. As far as lifestyle – Islam dictates: dress, grooming, diet, gender roles, what art is acceptable (no depictions of people or animals-patterns are ok no concerts) what pets are ok (no dogs) etc. etc

        The majority of the texts (the Qur’an isn’t the only foundational text, there are also the Haddith, Sira) do not focus on worship, the bulk is political and legal. This is why there are so many countries that use Islam as their form of government – because that is what Islam largely is and is mandated to do – govern.

    • chrisfs

      You are also taking one part of the explanation out of context. Care to reply to the links and the NY Times article ?
      KPFA has approached Dawkins about having an on air discussion. Isn’t that better than a speech.

      • black rabbit

        The linked tweets are from 2013-2015, not “assertions during his current book tour” as claimed above by KPFA. So the most important context is that KPFA is completely disingenuous.

    • sister_h

      It makes no sense to “oppose Islam and support Muslims.” A Muslim, by definition, is a follower of Islam. It’s specious reasoning. It makes more sense to oppose terrorism or to oppose oppression. Don’t try to tell Muslims that you know their religion better than they do.

      • HiHo

        All you have to do is read what mainstream Muslim scholars and religious authorities, from Muslim predominant countries, say about Islam in order to test Dawkins’ assertions about Islam. It is perfectly true that there are variants of Islam that are as benign as any other religion, and that Muslims are usually decent people. But a religion contains ideas, in cultural and historical contexts. If those ideas, and their effects, cannot be examined rationally and objectively, and critiqued honestly, then there is no point in attempting scholarship in history, politics, religion, social psychology, nothing.

        Your position is intellectually dishonest and self refuting, and one to be avoided by any thoughtful person.

        • sister_h

          I don’t think it’s “self-refuting.” I’ve been watching it closely and it hasn’t refuted itself yet. 🙂

          • HiHo

            Yet you have demonstrably refuted yourself twice in this very discussion. This casts some doubt on the reliability of your observations.

        • sister_h

          Do you know any Muslims? Have you ever had a civil conversation?

          In my city and county, American Muslims are a significant part of the progressive community. I know non-profit social service providers, college professors, college students, engineers, civil liberties attorneys, ACLU volunteers, an elementary school principal, teachers, a stay-at-home mom. I know feminists and women in leadership of Muslim American organizations. Their very existence refutes your Richard Dawkins-inspired suspicions.

          • HiHo

            Yes, and yes.
            The existence and social roles of your personal acquaintances do not imply that any religion should not be examined rationally and objectively, and critiqued honestly. As I have not voiced any suspicions, about your acquaintances, it is impossible for you to know if which ones I have, if any, or that Prof. Dawkins inspired them.

            Please try to make arguments about the ideas at hand.

          • imimarla

            Your statement shows clearly that you have not understood what Dawkins really said! Better try to understand or at least read things more carefully. Or evenbetter: read the “God Delusion”, one of the best books I ever read.

          • HiHo

            Are you responding to me? If so, please clarify.

          • Atanu_Dey

            imimarla, you are mistaken in your comment. HiHo is not attacking Dawkins.

        • chrisfs

          ” If those ideas, and their effects, cannot be examined rationally and objectively, and critiqued honestly”,
          Dawkins isn’t examining those ideas objectively. He has admitted that he doesn’t have the background to do so. He is not familiar with the Koran even in an academic sense, nor with the historical context in which it was written or is understood today. He has proudly stated that.

          He takes the most extreme examples and seeks to apply them to the religion at large, If he were addressing excesses within a religion, that would be one thing, but he isn’t. He opposes religion in general and has mocked religious people in a cruel way that does not befit an intellectual at all.

          • Tony Gaskin

            The courtiers defence again. To which the refutation is that if there is no God, there can be no ‘experts’ on that particular non-existent deity or any system of worship thereof, otherwise, if they were genuinely experts, they might reasonably to be expected to have noticed that he doesn’t exist. As for taking the piss out of religion, surely that is the best way to react to totalitarianism?

          • HiHo

            He has not admitted that he can’t examine the ideas objectively, IIRC. If he has, please provide citation.

            Firstly, Expert and objective are two different ideas.

            Secondly, some observations (such as the fact that the penal code outlined in the Koran is overtly barbaric, and has always been interpreted in its broad outlines of executions and mutilations pretty much as written) are not “extreme examples, but represent widespread and durable, if not always the most popular, interpretations. It does not require expert knowledge to demonstrate that this is so.

            Please. Islam is not some vastly mysterious religion that only an initiate can grasp the outlines of. There ARE important subtleties of history and textual interpreation, such that many passages are easily misunderstood. But that bit about chopping off the hands of petty thieves, or the bit about killing women for adultery? Those aren’t “extreme interpretations”. Those passages are traditionally and frequently interpreted as meaning exactly what they sound like, and it is not that unusual to find these things actually put into practice. It is deeply dishonest to imply that state laws, such as those in Iran, lent legitimacy by the Koran, that prescribe the death penalty for homosexuals, represent some extreme fringe interpretation. Iran is a country of 80 million people.

            This is not the province of expertise. This is ordinary literacy. Open your eyes.

          • Gerhard

            But then a person that claims faith to be a state of belief in the absence of evidence disqualifies himself from being an intellectual anyhow

          • Jai Clary

            It’s not like that’s an insult. It’s just literally what “faith” means.

            “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.”

            There are plenty of other similar words – trust, belief, faith, zeal, dedication, devotion, loyalty, fealty, and many more, all with slightly different connotations. “Faith” is used because even believers understand the unknowability of God.

          • Gerhard

            Faith is the trust in the truth status of something in the absence of proof, not evidence, as it is the evidence that causes a belief. If you do not understand the difference between evidence and proof you failed your science class. If you form a belief based on proof you declare yourself an idiot as intelligent people gain knowledge from a proof.

      • Tally Isham

        Sister_h. Not every Jew is a follower of Judaism. Just because someone calls themselves a Christian and celebrates Christmas, does not mean they support everything in Bible and all the teachings of Jesus. And finally, not everyone who prays 5x a day, pays zakat, celebrates Ramadan, and calls themselves a Muslim is a follower of Islam. This may hard for you to believe, but I know plenty of people who are as atheist as Dawkins, yet because of their culture and upbringing, identify themselves as Muslims but are secular, liberal, and not followers of Islam. Surely, you have heard of non-practicing Muslims or secular Muslims before.

        • sister_h

          Yes, however, unless you’ve been living under a rock you should know that scapegoating and vilifying Muslims as well as escalating hate crimes and political bullying has been happening for decades and is amped up under the current administration. What urgent problem are you solving by critiquing Islam?

          • Allen Leung

            Sister_h. The urgent issue I want to solve is the vilifying of atheists (like Dawkins) and apostates under Islam. What stuns me are Muslims (1.6 billion followers) who complain how unfair it is to…ATHEISTS. Atheism/apostasy is punishable by death in several Muslim majority countries. In Saudia Arabia, announcing you are an atheist is actually considered terrorism. Can you top that?

        • SB_MAGA

          Read up on those prayers that are performed 5x a day, you might be surprised to find out what exactly are they praying for.

    • john

      Philip Maldari questions Richard’s judgement. This is absolutely ridiculous. I now question Phillips judgement.

    • BuzzK

      Thank you KPFA for not being a soap box for hate-speech. Bigots can find their own place to hate. Let KPFA be about respect and civil discourse. “Islam is evil” is not civil nor accurate. If you hate muslims and/or Islam, go find some alt-right radio station. Rush Limbaugh can broadcast your heroes and their prejudices.

      • Patrick Hughes

        The truth is not hate speech. It’s just the truth.

        • BuzzK

          Your truth, your bigotry.

          • Patrick Hughes

            Facts are facts. If you choose to ignore a fact because it is contradictory to your world view it does not make it untrue.

          • BuzzK

            Your fact is not a fact. It is an ideological lie. You eat it up because of your bigotry.

        • Atanu_Dey

          Good luck making that distinction to a person who has demonstrated a serious lack of intelligence.

      • rch427

        Do you feel the same way about Scientology? If someone from Operation Clambake, or Jenna Miscavage, were the guest and said the same things about Scientology as Dawkins says of Islam, would you also label them “hateful bigots”? I rather doubt it. That speaks to your intellectual honesty (or lack thereof).

        • BuzzK

          No one has invaded a Scientologist’s home or country and killed thousands of innocent civilians for being scientologists (like the Iraq war). Who is being intellectually ignorant? Add black or Jew or women to the equation. You’ll see it is not the same. Currently, Trump has made Muslim Americans an at risk population, hater. Did you pretend to forget?

          • Maciej Kastelik

            If you want to add Jews (among others) to the equation, then how do you feel about Lara Kiswani, who openly stated: ‘bringing down Israel will really benefit everyone in the world and everyone in society,’ and to the student who opposed her views ‘as long as you choose to be on that side, I’m going to continue to hate you.’? This is the same person whose opinion KPFA used to justify their actions in regards to Dawkins. Talk about hate speech, huh?

          • BuzzK

            It is. All incites to hatred and violence are undesirable. Israel and Palestine have rights to exist in peace. No radio station should be obligated to promote ideological hatred. Dawkins or Islamic extremists included.

          • Maciej Kastelik

            You are confusing hatred with criticism, and that’s a very important distinction. You can’t dismiss a criticism of an idea by claiming it as offensive. If we want a truly equal and tolerant society, we must accept that all ideas have one thing in common: they are not above scrutiny. Ideas are not people. Dawkins doesn’t attack Muslims, he attacks Islam as an idea and he never attacked a single Muslim personally. Besides, I noticed how you failed to adress that KPFA is clearly taking the side of an antisemite.

          • BuzzK

            Calling a religion held dearly by a billion and a half people “evil” is not rational or critical. It is emotional and ideological. Attempting to criticize a religion as violent and evil when your culture of “democratic” values has invaded and displaced millions, murdered hundreds of thousands is absurdly hypocritical. It is like a huge moral blind spot. Who should listen to one word of your ridiculous bigotry?

          • Atanu_Dey

            Buzzk, what does Islam think about idol worship? What do faithful Muslims think of idol worship? Let me answer that. It is considered evil by Islam (and some variants of Christianity.)

            Do you know that there are over a billion “idol worshipers” in the world? They are called Hindus. (I am one of them.) Now I will quote you “Calling a religion held dearly by a billion and a half people “evil” is not rational or critical. It is emotion and ideological.”

            So Mr Buzzk, how does it feel when the shoe is on the other foot?

            I am sorry that I wasted my time writing this comment. You are not an intelligent person. You’re a very stupid person really.

          • BuzzK

            I don’t consider Hinduism, Vedanta, Jainism or any religion that seeks to connect humanity with the universe in a harmonious way: evil. Nor do the Muslims I know. You are the ignorant person who thinks they know how billions of people think and feel, even fellow Hindus who may be monotheists or whatever. The Qur’an commands respect for People of the Book plus all religions that serve righteousness. You also are a bigot that blindly hates all Muslims for something you imagine that is not so.

          • Steve Martin

            Let me quote Qur’an for you:

            Quran (3:151)
            – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that
            they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.
            This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity
            (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’).

            Now please quote for us where Qur’an “commands respect for People of the Book plus all religions that serve righteousness.”

            Heres another one for you:

            Quran
            (2:191-193)
            – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where
            they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or
            unrest] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo!
            Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no
            more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah]
            and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be
            no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and
            wrong-doers, etc.)” (Translation is from the Noble Quran)

            What about cutting off little girls genitals? How about when someone rapes a woman, she is the one that is punished, her attacker lightly!

            Please tell us again how Islam is not evil. Evey religion is EVIL, its disgusting.

            Most people killed on this planet were in the name of god and religion. Evil that needs to eradicated.

          • BuzzK

            Oh my!! Terror in the hearts! If you spend some of your time looking for “peace” and “righteousness” instead of terror, you will find the Qur’an is a Book that encourages justice and respect for all people WHO RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS. No need for conversion. Jews can remain Jews and Christians remain Christians “people of the Book” which is Abrahamic tradition. Then It goes further and says if they deal fairly with you, be fair with them, even unbelievers.
            And so forth, I could go on case by case. The Book is meant to be a guide and taken as a whole. But people like you will find a fragment and hold it up in condemnation. Go ahead. Who cares. Islam does not need your support. You call Islam violent and send in troops to the Middle East to kill women and children by the thousands NOT FOURTEEN CENTURIES AGO, but today and the last whole decade of death and destruction in the Middle East for “democracy.” Lies and hypocrisy.

          • rch427

            “you will find the Qur’an is a Book that encourages justice and respect for all people WHO RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS.”

            Really? Like . . . women? Gay people? Atheists? You clearly don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

          • Steve Martin

            How can look for “peace and righteousness” since every shit that come in this world is from Islam and every religion? If there’s no religion, we would be super advanced in this world. In almost every Islamic country women are like 2nd class citizens. Garbage, nothing else.

          • sister_h

            Yes, they start quoting an English translation of the Quran as proof of something. Rolls eyes. Another fundamentalist anti-Islam fanatic. Repulsed by one’s own, amateur interpretation of someone else’s religion. Bravo. Clap, clap, clap.

          • Steve Martin

            You can roll your eyes as much as you can. Islam and every other religion is garbage. Most people killed on this planet are in the name of some imaginary god. Garbage, nothing else.

          • hazel estrella

            You should study the history of Islam and the teachings of Muhammad more carefully. The world that Muhammad inhabited was one where people were very tribal. The Arabic tribes at the time practiced very barbaric customs, like burying baby girls, etc. Muhammad came to civilize and raise up the people, to advance cilvilization to a higher level. And that is what He did. It was through Him that the arts, sciences, medicine, education,philosophy advanced and flourished not just in the Middle East and North Africa, etc but Islam also brought Europe out of the dark ages. The Nation State came into being, unifying all the Arab world. Warring tribes and peoples became brothers. This is just some of the things that happened due to Muhammad and the Islamic Faith.

            You must also know that the followers of Muhammad were very small in number. They were vastly outnumbered by an unbelieving, warring, largely ignorant populace who were easily swayed by their religious leaders who saw Muhammad as a threat to their positions and standing with the people. They incited these peoples to rise up against Muhammad and His tiny band of followers, who were sought conflict against no one. Muhammad knew that if He did not let His followers defend themselves, not only would they and the Faith, which was sent to unify and bring harmony to the people would cease to exist. It was a merciful and just act to have them defend themselves.

            It is not the fault of Muhammad or Islam that even the followers after His passing misconstrued the meaning of the Quran. We see the results of not only misunderstanding the symbolic meanings behind the words in His writings, but also the times and environment in which He lived.

          • Steve Martin

            They were not his writings, its the stories he heard from other travelers since Quran contains the same garbage as the bible. Noah and so on…

          • rch427

            “The Qur’an commands respect for People of the Book plus all religions that serve righteousness.”

            BULLSHIT. To Islam, polytheism is considered “shirk”, and therefore haram (prohibited).

            4:48 — “Allah forgiveth not, that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed.”

          • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

            What the sacred texts of say, or more to the point how various Imams and others interpret and represent what they say, is an interesting topic. However, like other texts, people can selectively quote and/or misrepresent just about any way they want. Priest or politician, I find actions and results much more informative than words.

            In this regard, I find it significant that Islam is freely and openly practiced in Israel. Islam is freely and openly practiced in predominantly Christian nations. In contrast, Jews, Christians, and others don’t fare nearly so well in Muslim-majority nations. Turkey was held up as a counter-example, but even that seems to be unraveling right now.

            With apologies to Forest Gump, tolerant is as tolerant does. Which is not to say all Muslims are intolerant. But, regardless of the percentage of tolerant Muslims, they certainly don’t seem to be calling the shots in Muslim-majority nations.

          • rch427

            “Calling a religion held dearly by a billion and a half people “evil” is not rational or critical.”

            Nice appeal-to-popularity fallacy you’ve got going on there, BuzzK. So by your “logic”, calling a political ideology like Stalinism “evil” is not rational or critical, because it was shared by 150 million people. Got it.

            “Attempting to criticize a religion as violent and evil when your culture
            of “democratic” values has invaded and displaced millions, murdered
            hundreds of thousands is absurdly hypocritical.”

            Are you truly so ignorant as to be unaware that Islam invaded most of Europe and the Near-East, subjugated millions, and murdered hundreds of thousands, over the past 1,300 years?

          • sister_h

            Where is your statement that you condemn hate violence against Muslims? Where is your defense of due process for Muslims and have supported Muslims against the vandalism of mosques? Do you organize Americans against the white nationalism that wants to kill and deport Muslims? Or do you claim to only be “critiquing” to provide street thugs with the ammunition to go out and accost girls wearing hijabs?

          • Todo123

            Agreed. But only if the station is privately owned. This a a public station and Dawkins is not a hate speech scientist. Words are controversial. Why not hear him out?

          • BuzzK

            I have followed Dawkins online for several years and other islamophobes for longer than that. Interesting tidbit is: while his followers are rabid anti-theists, Dawkins actually confessed to a Bishop in the U.K. that he is an agnostic. I consider neoatheism an irrational cult held together by irrational scripture like “thou cannot prove a negative therefore thou shall ask for proof of God but deny the request for proof of no God.” Pack of lies.

          • rch427

            I could easily disprove the existence of your claimed god. Just let me know if you think you can handle it.

          • scottp

            Buzz, you have clearly never heard or read anything by Richard Dawkins. Please give him a listen. KPFA, and Philip in particular, has completely mischaracterized him. I also HATE what the Right has done to demonize Muslims in this country. Richard is not part of that; he is criticizing Islam as a set of ideas, and he is horrified — maybe even mores than you — by what is happening to Muslims as a result. Listen, even if you don’t agree with him, it is important to listen to what he is actually saying, and not let KPFA decide what is acceptable speech. That is not free speech.

          • BuzzK

            I have read plenty of Dawkins and the crowd of vicious bigots that surround him. He is wrong about Islam and a servant to war mongers.

          • joey ma

            Bringing down Isreal Apartheid state would benefit EVERYONE in the world!

            Bringing down SAfrica Apartheid made this world a better place

            Critizing Isreal is NOT the same as attacking a person who is a jew………… Can’t some of you isreal lovers get that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • rch427

            “No one has invaded a Scientologist’s home or country and killed
            thousands of innocent civilians for being scientologists (like the Iraq
            war).”

            And no Scientologists have flown jets into high-rises, or gang-raped Yazidi girls, the way that Muslims have. So, what’s your point?

            Oh, and “hater”? Sorry; I hadn’t realized I was responding to a 14 year-old.

          • sister_h

            Americans have bombed and killed Muslims in the Middle East. So what’s your point?

          • rch427

            “Americans have bombed and killed Muslims in the Middle East.”

            Americans have never bombed WITH THE INTENTION OF KILLING. Are you truly so ignorant as to think that the purpose of American military actions are to kill?! That simply isn’t the case. Even the sidearms that American soldiers carry are designed to be less likely to kill; we’re not allowed to use hollow-point bullets, like are sold for domestic use, because they expand on contact and cause far more damage than the FMJ rounds we use.

            When the US military drops bombs or fires rockets, mortar, artillery, missiles, etc., it’s ALWAYS with the intention of disabling enemy materiel or, in limited cases, combatants, and NOT killing civilians. Whenever civilians are killed by US actions, there are serious repercussions that can include discipline up to and including, life imprisonment.

            Is that the case with Muslims? Hardly! Nearly every Islamist terrorist attack has been with the intention of killing innocent civilians. Of course, when your life is ruled by the fantasy of paradise as a reward for doing the most unspeakable things, rather than by a Constitution and secular humanist ethics, that’s the way people behave.

          • hazel estrella

            Not only do you need an unbiased history lesson of the USA, but also of the history of Islam.

      • Deimos Phob

        Islam is a hateful religion, and it is not hate-speech to go after an idea, or despise something truely hateful. And as to that, how about the people beheaded for simply speaking out against, or not believing that islam is true in iraq and saudi arabia? How about the people who are beheaded for speaking out against anti-gay bigotry in muslim countries? How about the people who are beheaded for eating pork in a muslim country?

        Half of british muslims believe gays should be punished with death, and even then a great percentage of those that didn’t believe it should be punished by death, believed that gays should still be punished by legal action. Muslims also believe that rape or abuse cases created by women should be accompanied by 2 witnesses and a woman is not counted as 1 witness, but half of a witness, this is also how afghanistan, iraq, saudi arabia, and some other muslim countries handle this. The majority in 10 of 20 muslim countries studied believe that whipping or cutting the hands of thieves is an equal punishment for their crime. The majority of all muslims in muslim country believe that adultery should be punished by stoning to death or death in general.

        The difference between rush limbaugh and richard dawkings is that richard has actually read the quran, the bible, and a-lot of other religious holy books that all somehow believe they are the one true religion. He knows the hateful bullocks in the books and he also knows the percentage of which the people within the religion believe it to be true, because he researches what he has said. You however haven’t.

        • hazel estrella

          You are confusing the religion with the followers. The religion which Muhammad championed is not the Islam that people practice today. Just like the Faiths of Buddha, Christ, Moses, etc.,bear little resemblance to what these illustrious Persons originally founded. The religious leaders and other followers allowed traditions, pagan and cultural to creep into these beautiful teachings and way of living; the religious leaders of the times of these Prophets and centuries after mislead the people by not understanding the symbolic meaning behind what these holy Beings were saying in speech and in Their writings. If the clerics, imams, rabbis and other religious leaders had truly understood the true meanings of these sacred scriptures, we would have a vastly different world today.

          • HiHo

            If that is what you think, I suggest you read the Qu’ran. It has passages of naked barbarism. Far from making Islam MORE violent, if anything, its followers have moderated the savagery and superstition Mohammed expressed.

          • Deimos Phob

            They believe those things because of what is said in that book, of which is as hiho puts it; naked barbarism. All of the punishments that I had stated that a large percentage of muslims agreeing on it, where all in the quran, and stated as such. You cant say that wanting people to be stoned to death for fucking being gay or eating pork is a crude misconception of what was actually said in the quran. That’s like saying your message to a your friend asking them to kill someone is just a crude misconception of what you actually said.

            And like you have the true meaning of the quran (sc), you aren’t a prophet, nor are you the person who wrote it. Cause it was written by a person, and not a god or a prophet, just a normal plain joe that wanted a god to comfort him at night and have him dream of 72 virgins after death. You have no idea the intentions or beliefs behind the people who wrote it.

            Even if this was a peaceful religion at its core “which it definitely is not,” the book does not define the group of people who praise it, and that was the whole point of the percentile’s that I had presented that showed the amount of muslims who believed such horrible and gross things.

  • Mike Hogan

    Richard Dawkins is one of the most sane, wise, erudite and polite people on the planet. His rationally argued criticisms of organised brain washing that masquerades as religion is the foundation of a more peaceful world. That KPFA radio doesn’t realize nor appreciate this intellectual giant is testimony either to a biased agenda or blind ignorance on its part or both.

  • Kendall Powers

    If you are simply unwilling to accept criticism of the fundamentally illiberal, hateful things that are enshrined in Islam as a doctrine, you are not a liberal establishment. And you don’t give a wit about liberal ideas.

    Nobody is saying that all Muslims believe these things, but a vast swath of Muslims do believe women are second class citizens and do believe that homosexuality is evil, among myriad other horrifying beliefs. For you to putter down the road with your fingers in your ears when someone points these things out is nothing more than a willful and wanton denial of reality.

    Shame on you.

  • Chris J

    KPFA decided to pull the event because they didn’t want to have a financial stake in promoting Dawkins, whose rhetoric they deemed Islamaphobic. Instead, they offered him airtime on the radio (which will undoubtedly be heard by more people than his book event) where they won’t have a direct financial stake. So… remind me why we’re pissed?

    • Kendall Powers

      They’re perfectly able to donate any profits they might make to groups they deem might help combat “Islamophobia.” Make no mistake: this excuse is sheer subterfuge.

      And you can think of it from the other side of the coin too: if their worry is Islamophobia, why would they give him air time and what you’re claiming is an even larger platform?

      • Chris J

        They are also perfectly able to not sponsor an event they no longer want to sponsor.

        To your second point- my claim is factual: the first pres church has a smaller seating capacity than KPFA’s average daily listenership. And my reading of their statement tells me that they’d rather put him on the air with an opposing, authoritative viewpoint, rather than the confines of a single-spotlight book event where he’ll mostly go unchallenged (I’ve been to many of these book events in the past, and this is normally how they’re run with such a big name).

        • Kendall Powers

          Of course they’re “able.” They also have the “right” to do this. Nobody is arguing these points, and you entirely miss why people are angry if you’re emphasizing that they’re “able” to do this.

          And you missed my point: their argument that they don’t want to facilitate Islamophobia rings hollow if they’re happy to put him on the air.

          • Chris J

            Ok, sure. I get why people are angry. I’ve got a bias for KPFA b/c it’s one of the few non-corporatist media outlets I can access, and I feel like this backlash over a book event attacks a straw man. Oh well.

            That said, I directly addressed your second point and would invite you to go reread my comment.

          • Kendall Powers

            Actually you didn’t. What do you mean, “put him on the air with an opposing viewpoint?” You mean someone who is anti-evolution? Or do you mean an Islamist?

            Because if you mean they are going to put him on the air with an Imam or some such, they’d be destroying the point of his talk (which had nothing to do with Islam per se), and if they’re putting him on the air with a creationist, it’s just pants-on-head retarded.

            My point stands: if their goal was to shut down his purported Islamophobia, putting him on the air does precisely the opposite.

          • Chris J

            We actually agree on that point. My original point was that they didn’t want to have a financial stake in the event anymore, and they had a right to do so. Our original points aren’t diametrically opposed. Though, in the war of upclicks, you’ve bested me.

            -Chris J, pants-on-head retard

          • John Weiss

            It’s not a straw man. It unambigiously defines KPFA’s position.

        • John Weiss

          You’re claiming they put him on the air for the purpose of giving him a bigger audience. But they explicitly say they cancelled the event because they object to his statements.

          • Vedicculture

            Dawkins has tried to turn away from zionism in the last few years, but is still shows. KPFA’s solution is its solution.

    • Emma

      But what about professor Dawkin’s financial stake? Is it equal in either case, or does he lose income by having his event cancelled?

      • Chris J

        That’s a fair question. I doubt he loses much money compared to how much more he’ll now make that this is national news.

        • Vedicculture

          This barely registered as news.

    • HiHo

      Because they have mischaracterized his position, and in slandering him, have defamed others who share his opinions.

      Why WOULDN’T you find this offensive?

    • filmklassik

      We’re pissed because they have never done this with any other speaker before, as KPFA’s Bob Baldock recently told the Washington Post. We’re pissed because in the same article (which was published recently and which you can easily bring up on Google in about 14 seconds) Baldock ADMITS to having a double standard where Islam is concerned. We’re pissed because one religion gets a pass (or at least, must be treated less harshly) for being oppressive and misogynistic and anti-Semitic and homophobic, while others do not.

      That’s why we’re pissed.

  • Paul Mason

    Three minutes research and I found the alleged offensive speech by RD. Given the full context RD seems quite Liberal. KPFA are not intellectuals, you are loopy.

  • quaredunt

    cowards

  • John McGill

    To say your decision was ill considered would be an understatement. You don’t need to do our thinking for us and we don’t all agree with your version of what is correct. If you want to control the discourse then you are no better than Trump and his crew- same BS different mouth. I wont be contributing to your station any more. If Dawkins is not politically correct who cares. We can figure this out for ourselves, you don’t need to be involved, nor should you be. You guys have gone so far left you are now right. Self righteous prigs sounds about right

  • Stanley Kristiansen

    Mr Dawkins is contemptuous of all religions, not just Islam. The need to protect this one faith over others, particularly given its extremely illiberal views and theocratic elements is puzzling to say the least.

    • filmklassik

      The events coordinator at KPFA, Bob Baldock, told the Washington Post recently that in his opinion, Dawkins should just “butt out” of the Muslim issue because he, Baldock, visited the Middle East and saw first-hand how “beaten down” the Palestinians feel.

      In other words, different rules for Islam. Dawkins can attack Christianity to his heart’s content because, let’s face it, Christianity is the religion of the oppressive white patriarchy. And Islam is the religion of the oppressed.

      So, in the minds of many Progressives, hands off.

      Or, in Baldock’s words, “butt out.”

      • Patrick Hughes

        This has to be the most ridiculous argument for supporting the lies of any religion I have ever heard. Do you not see that the Palestinians would be vastly better off if they gave up their superstitions and embraced science ant the truth.

        • filmklassik

          But Progressives aren’t supporting the lies of the Islamic religion. That’s not what animates them. Rather, they are linking arms with an oppressed religious group that stands in opposition to the values of the West. THAT’S what animates them.

          • Patrick Hughes

            It is entirely possible to support a drug addict and tell that person that the drugs are killing them. Likewise it is possible to support oppressed Muslims and tell them that their superstition is keeping them in a state of oppression.

          • filmklassik

            We appear to be talking about two different things. You’re focused on the irrationality of religion in general — a separate conversation — while I am talking about the insanity of Progressives deciding to link arms with a cohort that is anti-female, anti-gay, anti-Jew, anti-atheist, and, in general, anti-West.

          • Patrick Hughes

            I guess I missed the intent of your initial post.

          • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

            “…anti-West.”

            That last one is the key. The rest are essentially irrelevant. You can messily devour a screaming baby on live TV, and many Progressives will try to cover for you as best they can as long as they perceive that you are anti-West.

          • filmklassik

            Yep. Me too.

            I can’t prove it, of course, but I have long suspected that the Linda Sarsours of this world are secretly giggling behind the backs of their Progressive “allies,” and regard them as little more than the modern-day equivalent of Useful Idiots.

          • Sean Friel

            You said it right here, dude.

          • Laotuz

            Thank you. This is an excellent insight in to how this particular brand of cognitive dissonance works. I had trouble understanding how they could abrogate rationality so easy, but this helps me understand.

    • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

      Yes, he can be hypercritical of Christianity (which is his absolute right), but somehow being critical of Islam (also his absolute right) is verboten.

      But it’s only confusing if you still believe that leftists are liberal in their outlook. The collectivist authoritarians who have cloaked themselves in the mantle of “liberal,” and their intellectual predecessors, have never been in favor of freedom of expression.

      • Jai Clary

        Yes, this is an understanding that needs to be more mainstream. People say “progressive”, “liberal”, “leftist”, and “Democrat” as though they’re all the same thing. Just another symptom of modern illiteracy fueled by political expedience.

    • Vedicculture

      Nah, Dawkins is a zionist and outright admits to being one. He hates Islam most of all, especially since ZOG has created “Islamic terrorism”.

      You people are dead wrong in these threads, you don’t get it. Basically you are given 2 choices: Progressive or Zionist(Donald Trump). That is the problem.

      • mumbogumshoe

        I find it fascinating how so many people, like you, seem to have absolutely no compunction about lying and making stuff up about people to fit their twisted views. Dawkins is a Zionist and openly admits it? You can’t, of course, produce anything from him that comes even close to that. Meanwhile, here’s a real Quote by Richard Dawkins referring to the Isrel-Palestine conflict:

        “can you explain why Palestinian Arabs should be the ones to pay for Hitler’s crimes? You surely aren’t going to stoop to some kind of biblical justification for picking on that land rather than, say, Bavaria or Madagascar?”

        or how about this tweet of his:

        “the extent of the destruction in Gaza is obscene. Poor people. Poor people who have lost their homes, their relatives, everything.”

        • Vedicculture

          Hitler was a idiot and not totally uncleared by the global financial system. He was also 1/8 jewish himself. Hitler killed a bunch of Ashkenazi and Slavs during the war. The fact is, since WWII, zionists have slaughtered 7.5 million arab muslims. They see the women hating, oppressive muslims being oppressed themselves. The region is a disaster there because of the US. Jews that admit that are hated by the ZOG and you get half-jewish Donald Trump. They are manipulating you into another zionist crusade .like the fake 9-11 scam. Use your head fool.

          Dawkins rips Islam on a personal level. That is why, after seeing the slaughter in the middle east, why they canned his appearance. That was the wrong decision.

          • mumbogumshoe

            Well… I guess I can take this weird rant as an admission that you lied when you said Dawkins “openly admits” he’s a Zionist. Other than that, I really don’t think I want to talk to you

          • filmklassik

            It shows poor judgement to engage with an Anti-Semitic nut job (“ZOG”? Are you kidding me?)

            It also shows poor judgement to implicitly endorse the cause of those who would destroy (or even peacefully dismantle) the State of Israel.

            There is nothing wrong with Zionism. Nothing. And I’ll be damned if I understand the thinking of those who, waaayyy deep down, in their heart of hearts, think that a sovereign and expressly Jewish State in that part of the world should not be allowed to exist. But many Progressives think exactly that. Including a high percentage of U.S. Jews.

          • mumbogumshoe

            I don’t endorse the destruction of the state of Israel, implicitly or otherwise. I was objecting to the lie that Dawkins openly stated that he was a Zionist. About Zionism, one can both agree with the right of the state of Israel to exist and, to paraphrase the above quote again, that “Palestinian Arabs shouldn’t be the ones to pay for Hitler’s crimes”. Zionism is a very ill defined term anyway, at least in common usage. It can refer to anything from a simple support of the notion that Israel has the right to exist to a form of ethnic nationalism. In one form there’s nothing wrong with it whatsoever, in the other it has the same problems as all such ideologies. People tend to use it in whichever way it best fits their ideology. I tend to refrain from using the term altogether.

          • Joe__W

            Well, there we have it. Your real issue is not with Dawkins, but with those pesky Jews. Bigot.

          • rch427

            While I *don’t* subscribe to the “ZOG” claims, it seems to me that one cannot get to the heart of the trouble with Islam without it also implicating Judaism and (to a lesser degree, Christianity). All three worship the same (nonexistent) god, and Islam and Judaism are tribal structures into which people are born and indoctrinated. This is a problem for rational people who see no good in tribalism, superstition or the indoctrination of children. But while we in the West are able to criticize those very characteristics in Islam (except on KPFA), one cannot do so about Judaism without immediately being branded a “bigot” or “anti-Semite”, as if assigning such labels automatically wins the debate. What is really needed is the widespread acknowledgement that superstitious tribalism *itself* is the problem, no matter what branding it’s wrapped in. Just imagine how much safer and more “progressive” (in a literal way) society would be if we were able to move beyond subscribing to, and defending these divisive cults!

          • Carole Ryan

            I agree with your post..and KPFA should not have cancelled Richard Dawkins.

          • john

            You claimed Dawkins was a zionist and then you were proven to be full of shit. Now no one need listen to the rest of your bullshit.

  • walterkovacs

    Islam is not a religion, it is a violent cult bearing an ideology that is a total socio-political package. Nearly every single Islamic country holds a death penalty for both apostasy and homosexuality, as demanded by its holy texts. You are fools to equate its modern incarnation with any other major religious movement.

    • imimarla

      In so many aspects Islam must be compared to Christianity in (and some after) the middle ages where “whiches” (mostly wise women) were burnt, “infidels” killed and joy of life suppressed. After all, the Koran has its roots in the Old Testament and is copied from it in great parts. While Christianity changed with reformation, enlightenment and necessities of modern life, Islam (and the majority of its followers) is still mired in ignorance and superstitions. Good education would help a lot! And more courageous media, for that matter!

    • John Weiss

      Aren’t most religions ideological cults?

      • walterkovacs

        Not in their modern form – very few Christian sects demand the level of adherence that is prevalent in the Islamic world and they certainly aren’t making it the law of the land. In America if you are raped, you may be inconvenienced in your effort to get an abortion. In Qatar if you are raped, you may be inconvenienced by being executed for adultery.

        Stop false equivalency.

  • Eric P

    Shame on you… cowards. As a proud Liberal I can understand where Trump finds his support when organizations like yours run like a scared child when confronted with an idea which doesn’t reinforce your narrow world view. Will never support you again.

  • pokeybloke

    You should be embarrassed. I certainly am, as a listener.

    Not another word about people against science from you. You are clearly that.

  • GHlad

    When people on the Left become so open minded they embrace diversity blindly, become tolerant of intolerance by accepting cultures that practice intolerance, misogyny and homophobia, they cross a line into a nonsensical world. Richard Dawkins is a beacon of light in dark times. KPFA should be ashamed for cancelling his speech. And for what? A label of Islamaphobia? If Christopher Hitchens were alive, he would skewer KPFA without mercy.

  • Peter from Oz

    It really doesn’t matter if Prof Dawkins is wrong or right about Islam. It really doesn’t matter if what he said was ‘hurtful’ or offensive to muslims. Anyone who believes in free speech knows that it comprises the right to be hurtful and offensive. The phrase ”serious free peech” is meaningless cant.

  • bear on the peaks

    cockamanie, loony, moronic…. shame on you kpfa!

  • Sean

    Dozens of people live under threats to their safety for criticizing Islam. Dawkins, himself. The Seattle artist formerly known as Molly Norris. Salman Rushdie and his translators. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Author Michel Houellebecq. Many, many more.

    Rather than standing up for freedom of speech, this so-called liberal media outlet, KPFA, cancels a speaker who is constantly under death threats by Muslims because…wait for it…they are afraid of hurting Muslim feelings.

    There is no middle ground here. Either KPFA is for freedom of speech or they are collaborators trying to shut it down on behalf of a religion that responds to dissent with threats, intimidation and violence.

    • filmklassik

      They are NOT for freedom of speech. Don’t kid yourself. Liberalism today is not what it was even 30 years ago. Today, a good liberal must cling to a double standard that says that Christianity — being the religion of the oppressive white patriarchy — is vile and worth condemning, while Islam — being the religion of the oppressed and the disenfranchised — must be given a pass. Or at least, must be treated less harshly.

      KPFA’s Bob Baldock told the Washington Post recently that he had visited the Middle East and seen firsthand how “beaten down” the Palestinians felt, so he had no problem exercising a double standard where Dawkins was concerned.

      This is where we are now.

      • Vedicculture

        lol, who is for freedom of speech? You? I doubt it.

        • filmklassik

          I’m not? Weird. I always thought America’s present speech codes (both legal and informal) were pretty good.

          • Vedicculture

            Simple divide and conquer. Somebody needs to have a brain and use it.

        • Ooh-Bigtime

          You nailed him to the wall, thumbs up. Obviously KPFA needs to reconsider and kindly ask Mr Dawkins to have his presentation as previously planned, acknowledge it’s error in judgement and liberals get back to reason by reading about the ideology (not a race, a choice of religion) before they defend it under the assumption it is what it is not.

  • Herwig Baier

    Shameful. The cowards at KPFA do not deserve the freedom and diversity others have fought and died for over the centuries.

  • Peter Cammish

    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
    ― George Orwell

  • CandidHammer

    This is a goddamned shame.

    I used to be proud to be a liberal. Now I feel like I have to explain what the word means to the citizens of Berkeley, CA.

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    • michaelrose93

      CandidHammer < Unless you know what the Frankfurt School was, you have little idea what liberalism is. The philosophy has been internally consistent all along. . .

      • Vedicculture

        The Frankfurt School? LIberalism has zilch to do with that. The Frankfurt school was to divide and conquer stupid whites. Make the idiot “conservatives” think they actually “invented” capitalism/slavery while the “liberals” to understand the enemy and believe it is themselves.

        • michaelrose93

          The Frankfurt School is an extension of Marxist philosophy, as is the political left.

          • rch427

            Yup.

      • CandidHammer

        Please. You’re 25 — that ought to be old enough to know at least some of what you don’t know.

        • michaelrose93

          Your re reply was non-sequitur. Enjoy your ignorance.

  • HansSuter

    I can’t be member of an organization that practices censorship, I will not renew membership.

    • Paul Karrer

      EXACTLY LET THE BOYCOTT BEGIN!!!

  • imimarla

    Cancelling an event where Richard Dawkins would be able to at least instigate some rational thinking in the widespread atmosphere of bigotry in Islam and Christianity (see the evangelicals, or islamists) in USA shows that freedom of thinking and of speech is deteriorating there.
    Happy to be able to live in Europe!

    • filmklassik

      Right. The Europe where condemnation of Islam can get you fined or locked up in prison if you’re not careful.

      • Tony Gaskin

        Where exactly does this happen? Or have you been watching Fox news again?

  • Paul Karrer

    KPFA….sad sad sad…The far right screams that the left is weak knee -ed about political correctness. Cancellations like this one for DAWKINS prove that sad claim. Let’s suppose Richard Dawkins IS ohhhhh so hurtful to Islam. Why can he at least not be heard? If he is soooo wrong it should be apparent to listeners. Richard Dawkins is a marvelous intellectual thinker. Emphasis on “THINKER.” Therefore he looks askance at religions. And as he correctly states Islam is horrific to: (add list here) atheists, apostates, gays, women Jews, democracy, etc. The on the ground application of Islam in the world is exceedingly harsh. That some interpretations of various Islamic texts (Sharia) can be perceived as gentle does not diminish the raw fact that Islam is theocratic and brutal where it is implemented. Nigeria, Ache in Indonesia, Iraq, PAKISTAN, Saudi Arabia, YEMEN, Sudan, Afghanistan. The treatment of women is pure subjugation (Saudi women can not drive) Afghan and Pakistani women can NOT leave their homes or compounds without male company or at minimum permission. Some NEVER leave their confines in their entire lives. It is a mistake to view all religions as equal – they are not. As Christopher Hitchens said, “Islam was founded by an illiterate merchant who was spoken to by the angel Gabriel” Really. Couldn’t these defenders of Islam defend Islam verbally? And the answer is clearly…no. No donations from me KPFA. Not from me – let the boycott begin!

  • John Weiss

    Muslims living in fear of violence? What about all the people, Muslim and non-Muslims, who have suffered terrible violence at the hands of Muslims, in the name of Islam?

    You have sided with intolerance, KPFA.

  • Everbleed

    Shameful and ignorant action on the part of KPFA. And I might add cowardly as well. What are you afraid of? Apparently Islam and its’ more enthusiastic adherents. Just like the media, in its’ entirety, turned ostrich when the Danish nightmare over cartoons of Mohammad erupted. Read something rational like Christopher Hitchens; God is Not Great, or Sam Harris; The End of Faith, or Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion. Yes the same man you banned. Get a grip. Think a little bit more. You are now part of the problem and may in fact be contributing to the rise of fascism and Trumpism in this formerly wonderful country.

  • Christian Goodpaster

    you canceled one of our most influential and brilliant scientists due to your own intellectual dishonest and ignorant ideology. Beat that virtue signaling horse, beat it. You probably think radio dj´s have the same level of awareness and knowledge as a trained scientist. Nope, you´re just ridiculous.

  • HiHo

    I’d like to applaud your wise and thoughtful decision.

    Firstly, Dawkins has certainly never harshly criticized Christianity or Judaism. Secondly, the number of people who believe in a group of ideas is certainly a valuable index of the validity of the group if ideas. Thirdly, if all religions are bad, it is certainly true that none of them can be worse than any other: that’s only logical. Finally, the point that Muslims receive few Nobel prizes definitely indicates an anti-Muslim bias: just look at the very large proportion of the GDP that Muslim predominant nations invested in research and development, and the large numbers of leading universities such countries contain.

    It is obvious that whenever someone bad voices an idea, it makes the idea bad: the value of an idea is determined essentially by the people using it. Dawkins does not at all admire Islam, and neither do bigots. Therefore the criticisms he levels at Islam are definitely the products of mere bigotry and should not be voiced, or analysed, or even considered with sympathy. There can be no justice to them, because, why, bad people have used them. This reasoning is sound and irrefutable.

    I’d like to thank Mr Maldari for demonstrating the value of a Berkeley engineering and science education in fostering a lifelong habit of clear and critical thinking.

    Either all that, or you have your head up your ass.

    • Lurker111

      Ouchie. That post would never get an upvote on, say, ABCNews. You actually have to pay attention to what you’ve written to get your point, and few there do. Which is sad, of course.

    • Bill Brydon

      Your assertion that all bad things are equal because bad is nonsense. Alcohal is bad for you, so is strychnine. It’s clear, though, that strychnine is worse. The repressive power of Christianity is low at the moment, that of Islam is high. At the same time, given that the topic of the discussion had nothing to do with Islam, I think it’s wrong to reject everything a person has to say because you disagree with his opinions in one area.

      • filmklassik

        Dude, this guy was being sarcastic. Read his post again.

      • BarbaraSeville

        Oh dear.

        • HiHo

          s’OK. I was ranting. I get sarcastic when I rant.

      • Atanu_Dey

        Allow me to introduce you to Mr Sarcasm. Bill, this is Sarcasm. Sarcasm, this is Bill. Please do get acquainted.

    • filmklassik

      Sarcasm duly noted, and bravo!

  • roccolore

    KPFA has no problem with anti-Christian or pro-Islamist hate.

  • Liberty Valence

    I am disappointed that KPFA think they are acting consistently with their liberal anit-racist roots in barring Richard Dawkins. Dawkins defends the human rights of Muslim individuals all over the globe by opposing political Islam and its apologists for their intolerance towards minorities, whether within the Muslim “community” or in other religions. Intolerant Islamists have duped the political Left by conflating ideology (which is a choice) and “race” (which is not). The real victims of Islamic intolerance are other Muslims, who are refused the right to speak out or to live differently to the “community standards” imposed upon them by self-appointed community leaders. Islam has become a political tool for religious bigots, misogynists and homophobes who want to oppress other (liberal, secular) Muslims and to silence both Muslims and non-Muslim critics. If KPFA is not even willing to have an intelligent debate with one of the world’s leading scientific minds, then this is just cowardice.

  • Jake Sperry

    It’s literally like you did ZERO research into what his actual position on Islam is. Pretty sad if you ask me..

  • Shartiblartfat

    I am not in the listening area, so what I say doesn’t matter. Stifling criticism is dangerous to our free society. Cherry-picking words from a speech of Dawkins in order to make your point is cynical and dishonest. You have done a profound disservice to your community. Fuck you very much.

  • Elmar Bagirov

    I am Moslem. And this decision of yours is just ridiculous. You are not doing Islam any favours. Neither you are doing any favours to the concept of freedom of speech.

  • I think you made the proper decision. You have given Mr. Dawkins the opportunity to come on the air and discuss this. It is up to him now to be open and do this. Thank you for handling this as you did. It was difficult and you did well.

  • Mark Landes

    Shameful decision, shameful reporting – not including the context of the statements made. Just shameful all the way around.

  • oystercatcher

    I see that KPFA has decided to submit to Islam and become dhimmi. What is next; Will KPFA use member contributions to pay the jiyza tax? How many subscribers will be appalled at this obvious lie and direct challenge to the Pacifica Mission Statement.

  • Michael Parsons

    This is shameless and pathetic. I have donated to the station(s) over the years, but I no longer see a benefit to having you around. Either issue an apology, or invite him back on. Either way you have lost my money.

  • Bud

    What an embarrassment. A truly embarrassing decision. From a “progressive” radio station. Located on Martin Luther King Way, no less! Now that’s a nice tie-in with free speech. And that link to Democracy Now, on the left? A bit out of place. A sad, anti-intellectual, knee-jerk decision… that we’d expect from reactionaries and the far right. Shame.

  • Justin

    Dawkins has always been a critic of religion. He criticizes pretty much every religion. It is hippocritical to not mind when he criticizes Christianity but then treat criticizing Islam as somehow not ok because it’s a minority religion in the US or because dislike for Islam is generally a more conservative sentiment. Dawkins should be allowed to criticize all religions, not just Christianity, if he sees flaws in their teachings. Also this tend towards censorship on both the left and the right is very disappointing and a growing problem in our society. If you thought Dawkins was worth ha omg on you should not just cancel it over a few controversial tweets.

  • Scott G Slanda

    Of course, he can say hurtful things about Christians and you couldn’t care less.
    I hate you leftist hypocrites with every fiber of my being.

    • vivalamigra

      you and pat robertson can burn in hell.

      • Scott G Slanda

        You ignorant, public-educated dim-wit. As typical of leftists, your discussion degenerates immediately to ad hominem attacks, rather than actually sticking to the issues, which is that liberals for some unknown reason give Islam a pass on its anti-woman, Arab supremicist ideology.

    • Vedicculture

      Christianity is garbage jewish mind control. Keep on worshiping John Cohen and his Cohenists.

      • Scott G Slanda

        Ah, the stupidity of the left. What cause have you to believe I’m not Jewish myself, and just open-minded enough to call hypocrisy when I see it?
        You must be the product of public education, you jump to conclusions faster than a caffeinated flea.

  • Richard Akers

    You are a perfect illustration regarding the difference between liberalism and the authoritarian left. When you cancel the appearance of a man for the very reason that he is promoting true liberal ideology, you not only place yourself in league with some of the most oppressively illiberal forces in the world today, but are using their very own methods to silence dissent.

    You are not a liberal voice. You are something else entirely.

    • Lurker111

      The liberal-conservative axis is not a continuum; it’s not even an axis–it’s a circle. Go too far to the left or to the right, and you wind up in the exact same place.

      • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

        Probably the most important single continuum is individualist (anarchy at the extreme) vs. collectivist (totalitarian at the other extreme). The “left” and “right” curved continuum they fed us all in school doesn’t make much sense, unless it is to sell the idea that communists (in practice) and Nazis are essentially different. They aren’t. They are two different forms of collectivist authoritarianism. Ridged political systems based on religious dogma, including Sharia law, are another form of collectivist authoritarianism. Classical liberals (like the American founders, or modern libertarians) fall to varying degrees on the other side of the continuum.

        Of course, there are other important continua, and any such model will be an over-simplification.

    • Vedicculture

      There is nothing “authoritarian leftist” about this. Move on contard, go to de Rothschild lackey Putin and live.

      • Richard Akers

        So, you support censorship because you value free speech and intelligent people who support liberal values are now a “contard”. What will you try to claim next — that your support for honor killing stems from your deep regard for women’s rights?

  • Kelly Smith

    I would be fascinated to know if you would have treated Mr. Dawkins the same had he made “hurtful” comments about Christianity, Judaism, etc. Free speech is not selective speech. We must, especially in this era, be willing and able to hear people with whom we disagree and even those who offend.

  • Yragentman

    Unfortunate decision. Long time listener, some time donor, this cancellation makes my donation unlikely.

    I totally agree with Dawkins that religions are the root of all evil – islam included.

    Cancelling his appearance brings shame to KPFA.

  • Bharti Parihar

    Ummm…..let me get this right….Professor Dawkins also said this once, “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.” And this event was to be held in a church. So….don’t you think there’s a smidgen of hypocrisy going on here?!

  • Victor Laiviera

    Translation:

    We are OK with Dawkins criticising Christianity because the worst that will happen is that some old ladies will write angry letters to the press. But if we allow criticism of Islam, a lot of big, bearded toughs will start smashing things and we are afraid of them.

    Sorry about that.

    • Atanu_Dey

      I guess KPFA bosses figure that they don’t want to meet the same fate as the Charlie Hebdo folks. Cowards for sure but rational cowards.

      • Richard Akers

        They are feeding the crocodile hoping it will eat them last.

  • BPatMann

    Dawkins has been insulting Christians for years, yet that never seemed to bother KPFA. It’s fun watching the left eat its own.

    • Vedicculture

      Left? were. Nothing “Left” about KPFA

      • BPatMann

        I’m sorry, I meant to say “extreme left.”

  • Lisa-Anne Lee

    After reading prior posts, it seems the offensive word is “most” [evil]. That’s quantifying hatred and of course, that is a matter of opinion. I think it was a principled decision for KPFA to cancel a speaker who should have been more thoughtful expressing his views. KPFA presents thoughtful and responsible balance; giving voice to the disenfranchised and disempowered.

    It’s sad to read some longtime KPFA supporters are pulling their financial support to protest KPFA cancelling this event. Don’t cry for Richard Dawkins who would be welcomed by Corporate-Sponsored Foundation-type media outlets.

    • vivalamigra

      so you support islamic oppression of women? Are you a masochist?

      • Vedicculture

        nope, but if you don’t see ZOG propa for a zionist crusade, you are hopeless.

        It is simple as that. These ‘progressives” at this radio station see the Muslim under attack by the global elite and are going into overprotective mode. Dawkins is mild compared to jew Trump, but he wants war and genocide against the muslims.

        He is still getting air time. There is nothing to see here.

    • Patrick

      Look in the comments here to find the full text of Dawkins’ statement. KPFA has dishonestly quote mined him.

      Criticism of Islam is not equivalent to criticism of Muslims and neither is equivalent to racism.

    • Tony Gaskin

      ‘Quantifying hatred’. Has American truly morphed into an entirely separate language from English or are you just talking utter shite?

  • Patrick

    The real issue appears to be the increasingly regressive left’s refusal to address the conflict between feminism and conservative Islam. The dogma of Islam is inherently misogynistic, homophobic, and in conflict with Enlightenment ideals of freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, individual rights, and equality. Richard Dawkins rightly rails against those appalling ideas, while never denigrating the believers who hold them. There is a vital difference between criticizing ideas and insulting people. Islam, particularly the conservative and radical variants, richly deserves criticism.

    The fact that KPFA has been willing to host Professor Dawkins when he was commenting on Christianity and creationism but deplatforms him when he applies the same standards of reason and morality to Islam demonstrates a complete lack of integrity on the part of the station management. Criticizing Islam is not racist, no matter how many so called progressives stamp their feet and insist it is.

    I strongly encourage KPFA to seize this opportunity to open a discussion about the left’s refusal to address the real abuses of women, homosexuals, apostates, and atheists justified by the tenets of conservative Islam. Berkeley is the birthplace of the free speech movement. KPFA is not living up to that standard. Demonstrate the courage of your convictions by re-inviting Richard Dawkins.

  • vivalamigra

    The Bolsheviks are showing their true colors! This is a taste of what awaits us if communist regressives could assume power in the U.S: End of freedom of expression, gulags, reeducation camps, only officially sanction art allowed to flourish, etc…. The leftist/islamonazi link need to be investigated.

    • Vedicculture

      Go away zionist shill. Keep on worshipping the jew god.

      • vivalamigra

        better than praying to cows, elephants or monkeys, vedic boy.

  • James Online

    This is a small-minded decision not worthy of the community you “serve.” Criticism of Islam is not Islamaphobia and Dawkins is a world-class scientist, thinker, and progressive cultural and political force. Please read Dawkins’ response to your decision and reconsider.

  • Richard Gronostajski

    Shame on you for stifling free speech in the false name of hate speech. Religion by its nature poisons the mind to reason and you guys have fallen into this trap. Telling people that you believe they are stupid and/or evil is a fundamental human right, not hate speech. Learn to distinguish the two.

  • vivalamigra

    Anyone noticed the irony of Philip Maldari, a self-identified atheist in the podcast above, criticizing Dawkins, another atheist, for criticizing a religion?

    • Kit_Darkfeather

      Isn’t it amazing that the viewpoints of the commenters on this thread were not represented among the callers screened for Maldari’s Sunday Show broadcast?

  • TrueC0nservative

    I’m “deplatforming” KPFA from my radio presets.

  • TicaToca

    I’m a life long progressive and a financial supporter of KPFK in Los Angeles. And this stinks. Why are we so afraid of free speech? If someone doesn’t like what he said, engage him in person. Let’s hear someone question him. We are becoming so reactionary on the Left and it’s depressing. And the worse thing is that incidents like this throw me into agreement with conservatives about the Left restricting free speech. They are indeed correct.

    • vivalamigra

      I too live in LA and used to support KPFK. After hearing them eulogize Chavez and Castro when they died, I realized there’s a fine line between progressive and regressive.

      • TicaToca

        Sadly true. I stopped giving after yet another fund drive offering 9-11 conspiracy porn. Although I did give to Roy of Hollywood the other night since I discovered Alan Watts thru him.

      • Vedicculture

        Castro kicked the jewish mobsters from Cuba, yet some jews still supported the regime. Simple as this: You want their support, stop supporting zionism.

  • mbishop

    I listened to KPFA the entire time I lived in the Bay Area. It was my source of sanity during the Bush years. That’s why it’s so hard for me to understand why you would block Richard Dawkins, who I also consider a voice of sanity, from speaking.

    Something has really gone wrong here.

  • Simplisticus

    A spineless action. Have you no idea what the implications of free speech and its denial are? Wasn’t the USA founded on the principle of freedom of conscience? The founding fathers arrived in the USA precisely because they weren’t allowed freedom of speech in the UK. Your prissy idea that people have some sort of right not to be offended gives scope to the extremists. So go on: protect the extremists! Islam kills someone who, after all, decides not to follow its religion; denigrates women; advocates the killing of homosexuals. And we’re not allowed to criticise them in case they have hurt feelings? As I say, spineless and destructive of freedom.

  • BuzzK

    Thank you KPFA for canceling hate-speech. Liberal and Progressive values do not tolerate intolerance whether that comes from conservative religion or conservative atheism. They are essentially the same message of hate and intolerance. There are plenty of progressive ways for religion and science to dialogue without promoting hate-speech. No Trump and NO DAWKINS.

    • Patrick

      What is hateful about criticizing the misogyny and homophobia promoted by Islam? Do you really want to be tolerant of those who throw homosexuals off of buildings?

      • Vedicculture

        You realize that was sarcastic,don’t you?

        • Patrick

          Too subtle for me, if it was. Are you sure?

        • Verify_Your_Facts

          It’s a parody, possibly accidental.

      • BuzzK

        You are talking about fanatics (like yourself I imagine) who do not follow the mainstream wisdom of a movement like Islam or atheism and instead head for the fringe where ALL MUSLIMS hate women and homosexuals and ALL ATHEISTS support Bush and Trump in a battle of civilizations where it is kill or be killed. These fringe people, like ISIS or Dawkins, are not productive for any society. You can tell from the sickness in their followers comments.

  • Bob Loblaw

    2 things:
    1: This is how liberalism dies, if it thinks the way forward is to purge its ranks of it’s most intelligent, and best proponents of liberal values.
    2: By censoring all speech critical of Islam, you confirm the narrative of the anti-Islam community, that Islam is not compatible with western values because it demands special protection free from criticism. Dawkins is highly critical of Christianity too, yet I don’t see KPFA banning Dawkins for christophobia.

  • theWebWizrd

    What a horrible decision, with an even more horrible justification.

  • Jochen Bedersdorfer

    Your digging yourself a bigger hole with this, KPFA.

    Again: you apparently don’t understand the difference between attacking a community with hateful speech and criticizing ideas.

    You also can’t understand the simple fact that not all opinions deserve equal respect.
    Not all ideas deserve equal respect.

    Let’s take women’s rights as an example: Do you think treatment of women according to the various religious dogmas deserves the same kind of respect or even acceptance?
    A doctrine that actively paints women as inferior (basically most major religions) needs to be called out.

    Dawkins is calling out dangerous, medieval ideas across the entire religious spectrum.
    You of all radio stations should support that.

    No summer fund drive for me this time.

  • Yakaru

    KPFA has declared that Muslims are so weak minded and emotionally fragile that they can’t bear hearing someone who has criticized their religion.

    Don’t you people know that it is pure and utter bigotry to treat a richly varied population as if they are all the same?

  • Steven Carr

    It is good to see that blasphemers like Dawkins are finally being silenced.

    Actually, I want to hear Dawkins speak. I want to hear him say he submits to Allah.

    • Patrick

      Why would you want him to say anything about a fictional character?

  • Vedicculture

    Sorry, but enough of the leftism shit in these threads. This dude is not a leftist nor will ever be one. The only reason this was cancelled was because the director went to the middle east and saw the zionist holocaust. Islamic shit is a scam, financed by the same people who invented “bolshevism” in the 20th. They want the idiots to do bombings just like the IRA. The US zionists attacks muslims countries to incite them. Why did this appear after “Communism” died? why why why? Think people.

    Enough. White people have been the lackeys of Jews since 1492. Leftists are the only ones that get it, The problem is they think white’s “invented” “capitalism/slavery” absolutely not. White’s were in a freaking mess in 1492. A disaster. The Sephardic jews come and push their crap, invent a religion under one of their own(John Cohen aka Calvin) and push the white’s into being the house pet.

    That is what we have become. White nationalism is a jewish backed scam. The Alt-Right doesn’t even hide, they don’t even change their jewish last names.

    • vivalamigra

      you are one messed up vedic dude. Do us a favor and move to a cave in INdia when you can worship cows. Me, I’m having a hamburger today.

      • Vedicculture

        Can’t deal with reality. I DNA tested George Lincoln Rockwell, one of their “first attempts” at control. Half-Jew. Fathers side was of Ashkenaz descent. Mothers side, Scot-Irish(similar to Trump).

  • Vedicculture

    Dawkins believes in historical Christ. Nuff said, guy is a buffoon. Historical Christ was a Hellenized Jewish fantasy the idiot Italics fell for and slaughtered Germans to believe.

  • Markrod420

    “We support serious free speech” my ass you do. Serious free speech offends people. The reason we have a right to free speech and the reason our society needs to protect that right isnt for non-offensive speech. It is SPECIFICALLY for offensive speech that goes against the grain. you claim to be in support of free speech but that is a blatant lie. You support a narrative and weak minded snowflakes. Not free speech. And you should be utterly ashamed.

    • Vedicculture

      Give me a break. If Dawkins attacked Jews and said they were controlling white people and making them do all the “bad shit” since 1492, you would demand his death.

      • Markrod420

        no… i would still support his right to free speech you fucking idiot. Also that statement is largely true. I have personally spent the time tracing the international banking families back to a small town in germany in the 1400s. So 1, fuck you because i welcome ALL speech. ALL OF IT. and 2. Fuck you because you dont have any idea what i believe in or what i stand for. and 3. Just fuck you.

        • Vedicculture

          Fuck you fag boy. Dawkins has been pumping zionism for years. I can’t help it this weepy shit saw the holocaust in the middle east, decades of zionist slaughter of muslims and did a dumb thing. I mean, I laugh at the posters in this thread. You people simply don’t get it. Kill the jews, watch the left and right “wings” really thin out. The righties will have a fit when those dna tests come back.

        • Vedicculture

          Those “international banking” families came to power after the Sephards brought capitalism and slavery into the Europe in the 16th and 17th century. They don’t even get any real power to the British Empire in the 18the century.

          • Markrod420

            Rofl my ass they didnt. They show up in modern history in the 1400s manipulating wars and shit. If they had the money to make or break countries during war in the 1400s then they already had a fuck of a lot of money by then.

  • Kale Fantastic Fenneman

    He has also called theology a non subject because as an empiricist it cannot move beyond internal dialogue. The Quran contains a great deal of direct incitement to evil acts and has harmed every civilization it comes into contact with, this is an empirical fact. There is no country that is better off because of Islam entering its government where secularism could prevail. So this comes down again to the idea that within progressivism there are protect and sacred subjects. Getting your feelings hurt because you believe in magic claims by an 8th century warlords descendants should not stifle dialogue. Nor should there ideas be beyond reproach given their actual content. You have the right not to sponsor him, but you as deserve to be called cowards and sectarians for doing so. The Quran preaches hate openly and most Muslim countries are not safe for atheists and many Muslims in the west hold massively regressive views when not speaking of their own rights. To say you are intellectually vacuous is till too much of compliment.

  • Lance Bush

    Decisions like this will alienate liberals and turn people against you. Every day more of us liberals who you choose to alienate find a sympathetic audience in conservatives who, while we strongly disagree on many issues, at least have the intellectual honesty and courage to hear us out in a spirit of genuine openness.

    Your decision to deplatform Dawkins is intellectual cowardice and is utterly indefensible.

    Resign. You can’t be “vigilant as always” with your head buried in the sand.

  • Shakes_McQueen

    He wasn’t “denigrating Muslim scholars as non scholars” – he was making the same joke people have made about “Biblical scholars” for years: That “scholars” are typically people who have read more than one book. Get it? Because religious scholars are essentially “scholars” of a single book?

    This is just pathetic. And these are the three examples you specifically chose to cite?!

    No one has challenged what you have the “right” to do here. You have the “right” to be intellectual cowards, and the rest of the world has the “right” to call you intellectual cowards.

  • Kirk Ehmsen

    KPFA’s statement explaining — worse, ‘defending’– their cancellation of Dr. Dawkins’ speech appears to have been developed by someone who actually has very little idea of how significant Richard Dawkins has been to this generation’s compendium of scientific and cultural thought. It is fair to say that he is responsible for a canon. To those who cherry-pick or knee-jerk among statements in his Twitterfeed or sentences pulled from texts and speeches, Dawkins is easily portrayed as misanthropic toward religions and insensitive to those who don’t ascribe to his points of view, but in fact he may be one of the most humanity-oriented thinkers of our time. Look at the bigger picture, KPFA: his criticisms of religions stem from a deep sense of humanity and idealism for more peaceful and just human societies that better manage their roles on Earth and responsibilities to other living things. Although those criticisms can be viewed as ‘hurtful to some people’ in one sense, when taken in larger perspective, they come from a deep yearning to limit the more substantial and concrete kinds of hurt that are propagated in the world. He is an earnest, sober, courageous –if frustrated– defender of human rights, agency, and responsibility. The decision to cancel his appearance speaks of a significant misunderstanding of his canon and what he stands for.

  • Jeff Syrop

    I am so horribly disappointed with KPFA for cancelling a speech of this world famous scientist. When I think of all the money I’ve sent to KPFA, I feel especially sad.

    Why not have Richard Dawkins’ written response to KPFA right on this page?

    Everybody with a brain hates fundamentalist Islam, because it IS a computer virus. The brain is a computer just as the heart is a pump, and programming a child’s brain with fundamentalist Islam (or fundamentalist Christianity) IS infecting the brain with a computer virus that impairs the working of this brain for life. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins blow it by forgetting to go as hard against “Christians” as they do against “Muslims”. They don’t dare.

    Dawkins, whose bestselling study of evolution, The Selfish Gene, was named the most influential science book of all time by the Royal Society last week, writes in an open letter he shared on his website:

    “My memory of KPFA is that you were unusually scrupulous about fact-checking. I especially admired your habit of always quoting sources. You conspicuously did not quote a source when accusing me of ‘abusive speech’. Why didn’t you check your facts – or at least have the common courtesy to alert me – before summarily cancelling my event?”

  • RazorSheldon

    You cowed to what you perceived to be the angry mob, and are too ashamed to admit how terribly wrong you were to make such a hasty and irrational decision here. Time to admit your mistake and revert back to open dialogue to discuss all sides of complex issues like this, instead of picking a side and censoring dissent with the hope it is the more trendy, popular side.

    • Vedicculture

      I don’t see the big deal with this. KPFA can do what they want. There is
      no angry mob. Move on. If KPFA dies, they die. Castro threw the jews out of Cuba and slaughtered homosexuals for being “bourgeois”. Yet, times change.

      • RazorSheldon

        Of course there was an angry mob of reactionary bullies that demanded they cancel this event using tweets out of context, and KPFA threw aside their long held principles in the moment and are doubling down on a regrettable knee-jerk decision.

  • bmoore888888

    Are you so-called fellow progressives out of your collective minds?
    You ban a world-class scientist from speaking becuz he alledgedly said some disparaging things about one of the world’s most hateful, mysoginist, imperialist, oppressive, anti-jewish, anti-western, anti-intellectual and intolerant religious/ political ideologies?
    If this country desends even further into a ultra-conservative abyss we’ll have idiots like those guiding KPFK to thank as well!

    • Vedicculture

      You mean a few progressives. Big deal. Stop with the outrage shit. Why not thinking about dumping progressivism and becoming a national socialist. I am sick of being the jews pet. I am sick of “white nationalism” and the scam it is.

      • bmoore888888

        F*** off, Nazi scum…

        • Kit_Darkfeather

          Careful, there, or KPFA will condemn you for being abusive to Nazis. #notallnazisummwellactuallyyesallofthem

      • vivalamigra

        YOU are a scam….

  • Vedicculture

    Yeah or nay, does KPFA believe 911 was a scam created by zionists?

    • vivalamigra

      bet you do, kook.

  • The Skepdick

    So, you’re reaching back to 2013, 2014, and 2015 for excuses to cancel Richard Dawkins?

    You know, I wasn’t a listener anyway. I can guarantee you that I won’t be. You’ve just demonstrated yourself to be irrelevant.

  • Vedicculture

    I guess no votes for Bernie Sanders again eh?

  • Charles Spotts

    “When people say, ‘I believe in free speech, but …,’ then they don’t believe in free speech. The whole point about free speech is that it upsets people.” – Salman Rushdie

  • Lefty Blitzer

    A horribly bad decision. You ignore all the bad religion (all of them) has to offer. ALL religions deserve criticism. Denying the critics promotes unhealthy religious beliefs. Shame on you, KPFA. You can stop asking for money because I, for one, will no longer donate. Good luck with your new religious friends.

  • DODI130006

    As a devoted listener to KPFA since 1981, I have to say I am disappointed.
    “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights
    of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. It is just as criminal to
    rob a man of his right to speak and hear as it would be to rob him of
    his money”
    Frederick Douglass, “A Plea for Free Speech in Boston,” 1860

  • Kevin

    “when members of our community brought our attention to Dawkins’ abusive speech against Muslims…”

    You have to be kidding right? Richard Dawkins is the first to say how Muslims are the first victims of Islam. He has never, NEVER used abusive speech against Muslims themselves. How dare you make this assertion without checking your facts? So, you have taken the word of some members of “your” community, who are likely those who would support a very misogynistic view of women, punishment for apostates and gays, also silencing of those who respectfully and honestly criticise such views. In other words, you would take the word of someone who has the effrontery to make such wild accusations of hate speech (in this case), over that of a highly respected intellectual, who only ever speaks about truth and evidence. I wonder, how many “members of your community” actually complained about Mr Dawkins, prior even, to the event itself, and how many people actually looked forward to the event, and hearing Mr Dawkins speak for himself?

    How dare you, HOW DARE YOU take such draconian measures without checking your facts? How dare you suppose that a handful of disgruntled people should prevent the rest of us from… from what exactly? Has the once great KPFA also been cowed? I think that indeed that might be the case, because as far as I can see, thats the only rational explanation here!

    Shameful, utterly shameful.

  • Norm Mark

    Gutless cowards and too ignorant to understand who the real enemies are.

  • blockhead9

    Your editing of what Mr. Dawkins said down to two words seems misleading and dishonest.

  • Joe__W

    Sorry KPFA, but criticism of the evils of radical Islam, which virtually every decent person would acknowledge, is not Islamaphobia. What is most concerning about this episode is the censorship of speech by those on the left. This comes, by the way, from someone who is a centrist.

  • Bob

    We in Australia are being called ‘bigots’ if we don’t want Muslim laws as a duel legal system. In Bendigo Victoria a huge mosque is being built against the wishes of the local citizens. Our government have just made a ‘super’ department to stop terrorists, they have the power to shot and kill, Muslims here say it’s ‘racist’ to kill terrorists who just happen to be all Muslims. So in the eyes of our Muslims if in any way you oppose their cultural invasion you are a bigot and or racist. Their plan is to out breed the host culture and drain the financial resources by sucking up welfare payments for the many wife and numerous children. Importing all their relatives to also become a burden on the welfare system and feed the non believers lies, trust us we’ll fit in we’ll be good citizens. Yet they can’t, won’t integrate into the host culture, like a cancer they’re here to take over, to dominate, to rule as a worldwide Caliphate. I used to think I was just an Islamophobic but thanks to our Muslim invaders I’m now also a bigot and racist too. Anyway read all the other posts and am glad to see the overwhelming negative responses to KPFA ignorant banning of a worldwide respected speaker.

  • Mariza Izaac

    I am so disappointed by your cancellation of Richard Dawkins. Have you not seen his speeches? There is no hate, he criticizes and cites facts, just facts! He is a brilliant man, who deserves respect! I have been listening to your radio station for years. NOT ANYMORE. I was so looking forward to seeing him, and bringing my daughter. Shame on KPFA. I never thought this could happen in Berkeley.

  • Bob

    VIGILANT AS ALWAYS, is this a sick joke?

  • ufo42

    How is it not bigoted to deny that Muslims are even more likely to be damaged by Islam than Christians and Jews are to be by the more pious members and leaders of their respective communities? The truth of that assertion is verified daily by horror stories from Islam dominated areas of the world, by honour killings, by murders of gays and “not Muslim enough” or “wrong kind of” Muslims every single day. Do these murders matter less than KPFA’s anti-Islamophobia cred? Apparently so.

  • ufo42

    Idiotic actions like deplatforming Dawkins for his alleged Islamophobia (an allegation based on quote mining his writings) give credibility to the “libtard” slur which the alt-right lie machine likes to apply to the entire left. KPFA is actually harming the cause of social justice by absurdities like this backed by blatant lying of a degree of transparency which might make Trump blush were he capable of feeling shame. The ctrl-left needs to leave this kind of lying (where the lies can be refuted by a 15 second Google search) to the alt-right Trumpists where it belongs.

  • Retired and happy

    In an effort to prevent other scientists, or anyone for that matter, from being silenced for criticising Islam I think we should clearly define the things about Islam that should not be criticized:
    1. The genocidal, misogynistic, and deeply held intolerance of the Quran.
    2. The killing of apostates and blasphemers.
    3. The killing and hatred of gays.
    4. The oppression of women.
    5. The deep hatred of Jews that is inherent in Islamic theology and culture.
    6. The ceaseless sectarian violence between Islamic sects.
    7. The concepts of jihad and martyrdom and all forms of religiously motivated violence.
    8. Honor violence.
    9. Forced marriage.
    10. Rampant female genital mutilation
    11. The pseudoscientific claims made by Islamic scholars.
    12. The imposition of sharia law into liberal democracy.
    I know that this is not a comprehensive list, but it is a start. Again, I am not criticizing Islam, I am only listing the things about Islam that should be criticized so that the regressive moral cowards at KPFA do not deplatform you!

    • Atanu_Dey

      Great list. Thanks.

      (BTW, I spotted a typo in your last statement. You write “…the things about Islam that should be criticized …” when you surely mean “… should NOT be criticized.”)

      • Retired and happy

        You are correct. Thanks!

  • Jerome Haltom

    Right. Because you missed his decades of calling Christianity evil

  • Robert McCormick

    KPFA was dead wrong, Mr Dawkins should have been allowed to speak and anyone could counter him.

  • Bob

    I’ve been deplatformed by KPFA, my last post has been sitting for over an hour for ‘approval’. Who would have thought a poor boy from Australia would get into the exalted ranks of Professor R. Dawkins just for posting the truth. I’ll try to humble.

  • sister_h

    I fully support KPFA’s decision to cancel the event and also to offer to allow Dawkins to discuss it on air. I know a lot of people who also support it, both Muslim Americans and others in our community. Thank you, KPFA. As a Japanese American whose parents and grandparents were forced out of their homes, jobs, and schools based on similar “reasoning” that scapegoated them and ignorantly vilified all the “foreign” things about them, including their religion, assumed to make them into unassimilable, emperor-worshipping robots — I appreciate KPFA’s principled action.

    • vivalamigra

      Your Japan analogy has nothing to do with this.

      • sister_h

        It’s not a Japan analogy. And you make no argument as to why it is irrelevant.

        • Tony Gaskin

          Personally, I do not believe your grandparents were Japanese, or indeed any nationality. Otherwise, how could you be a troll?

    • HiHo

      So it doesn’t bother you that they completely mischaracterised Dawkins’ position and used utterly fatuous reasoning to support the decision?
      Your ethnic background isn’t really relevant to those problems. What is relevant are the readily ascertainable facts, and on those available, the cancellation is an obvious mistake.

      • sister_h

        I didn’t need KPFA to tell me who Dawkins is or what his position is. I’ve been around the block and I’ve heard him speak and seen what he’s written. I think KPFA made the right decision. It’s up to you to articulate why it’s a fatuous decision. And, like vivalamigra below, who doesn’t know what an analogy is or what analogy is being made, you just dismiss the relevance of what I’m saying without even addressing it. Did your parents or grandparents defend Japanese Americans and teach you why nobody should be smeared as a group? Probably not, or this argument would make more sense to you.

        • HiHo

          1. If you know what Dawkins’ position is, then you are not addressing it, and seem content with its misrepresentation.

          2. My grandparents and their families were being rounded up and shot at the time. It isn’t relevant at all, because no one is making arguments for any such thing here, as you would know if you actually did know Dawkins’ arguments.

          Try to make arguments instead of making everything about you or your opponent.

        • Tony Gaskin

          To be blunt, having grandparents who were interned does not allow you to get away with utter bullshit and it is unlikely that your arguments would make any sense to anyone, no matter how communicative their grandparents.

    • Lance Bush

      Is this a joke? Dawkins has criticized Islam. Not an ethnic group. Islam is a set of ideas, not a group of people.

    • Yakaru

      At the time Dawkins found out he’s been deplatformed by people like you, he was attending a conference in support of religious freedom. Needless to say, at considerable risk to his safety — for supporting the right of Muslims to choose freely whether whether they wish to leave or stay in their religion.

      If you hate the idea of hearing him speak, don’t go, don’t listen.

      If you hate the idea of other people hearing him speak — *about science* — and want to stop them, you are political fanatic who doesn’t understand democracy.

  • aces

    Don’t renew your memberships.

    • sister_h

      How petty. KPFA, a national treasure since 1949, displeases you.

      • Lance Bush

        It is not petty to not support an organization that has done something fundamentally antithetical to its mandate. Until and unless they apologize and admit serious error, or better yet, if those responsible resign, nobody should support this organization unless they support censorship and intellectual cowardice.

      • aces

        Organizations change.

  • sister_h

    After reading through many of the comments, I just want to make a simple point. Criticizing Dawkins’ views on Muslims and Islam is not a “leftist” stance — it’s even more basic than that. It’s a question of basic civil liberties. The case of animosity towards Muslims and Islam and the inability of many to differentiate between a religion and perpetrators of violence is parallel to the tidal wave of hatred and suspicion that resulted in the forced expulsion and mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, using only their racial/ethnic/national identity as the reason, not any evidence or assertion that any individual was dangerous to the U.S. The Buddhist and Shinto religions were broadly “analyzed” as tainting all Japanese Americans as “emperor worshippers” who would not be capable of acting as loyal Americans. The wholesale condemnation of Islam by many sounds familiar to Japanese Americans who experienced the political result of that amped up white nationalism.

    Democracy depends on equality. Equality depends on refraining from demonizing whole groups of people — no matter how compelling or politically convenient that might be. Just as Japanese Americans deserved, but did not receive individual due process or assumption of humanity or innocence, Muslim Americans are being smeared by bigots today. If we want to defend democracy (again, not just a leftist issue) we need to defend everybody against being smeared.

    • HiHo

      But Dawkins is not claiming that Muslims cannot be, or are not, loyal Americans. He thinks that Islam, like all religion, in his estimate, is deeply problematic. He thinks that the NORMATIVE FORMS of Islam cause misery TO MUSLIMS.

      Your whole post is as fatuous an example of equivocation as I have ever seen.

      • sister_h

        The impact of railing against the thing that defines the group rather than individual behavior is to mobilize hate crimes against the hated group. If Dawkins believes that Muslims can be good people even though they are followers of Islam (as defined by themselves, not him) then what is his point? Islam isn’t even one thing, either theologically or organizationally or in interpretation. There are different sects, different leaders, different schools of thought. Most “critiques” of Islam are weird fundamentalist critiques (see all the calls for people to read translations of the Quran.) Why should a non-Muslim think that they can usefully interpret Islam? Also, Muslims have asked KPFA to cancel the event, as I understand it. To argue that Dawkins is only looking out for their interests seems kind of arrogant, don’t you think?

        • HiHo

          Your first sentence is predicated on the notion that the aspects of Islamic doctrine that Dawkins rails against do not somehow play a central role in motivating individuals to act. This is a factual error: if you cannot address the motive for an action, simply saying that the action is bad is pointless.

          Your second sentence is readily answered by Dawkins himself: most Muslims in the West ignore or sideline the normative doctrines of their own religion. This is a testable argument, whether or not you agree with it. For the record, I disagree with it, but the point is not whether or not Dawkins is correct, but whether or not the decision made is correct.

          Your third and fourth sentences are irrelevant: he is addressing the common forms of Islam which share common attributes (e,.g. the idea that Mohammed was the perfect man, the sanctity of the Koran and its contents, etc,.

          Your fifth sentence isn’t germane: we are speaking of what Dawkins has written, not what others have.

          Your sixth I have already addressed elsewhere: a religion contains ideas in a cultural and historical context. If a non believer cannot be said to bring valid insight to a religion, then there is no point in a non-believer attempting history, psychology, anthropology, any study of humanity. It is a self defeating position, as everybody is a non-believe in SOME religion.

          Your penultimate and last sentences are irrelevant: I am claiming only that his intent is non-malign, as you characterized it as scapegoating (which it is not).

          I doubt you have read anything that Dawkins has said on this subject. I suggest you do so.

          • sister_h

            Some demagogues in 1942 also said that the fact that Japanese Americans had not committed any sabotage was proof that they were going to do it. Aspects of Islamic doctrine “play a role” in motivating people to act? Yes, and but they are not deterministic. Being Muslim is not a crime or even a reason why someone should be scrutinized for criminal behavior. Is it? If you agree with Dawkins (fake) concern for Muslims, then leave them alone. Stop trying to “prove” that the mere existence of Islam in their lives makes them suspect.

          • HiHo

            1. What some demagogues said in 1942 is not at all what Dawkins is saying now.
            2. I did not say the doctrines were deterministic, nor do they need to be deterministic in order for the argument to remain germane.
            3. Neither Dawkins nor myself are saying being a Muslim should be a crime.
            4. You appear to be arguing that the most beneficial thing that one can do for people is not discuss or critique their ideas. Again, this is a self defeating position: you are implying that unless you wish to harm me, you should not inquire or discuss my ideas, and the best thing you can do is leave me alone. Yet here you are, discussing my ideas.
            5. I have no such intent, nor have I voiced it or implied it.

            You have not made a single cogent argument to date. Your position is self defeating, and supported by at best by non sequitur, blatant straw man fallacy and ad hominem attack.

          • vivalamigra

            Again, Sister H!!! Your points are mostly irrelevant as others have pointed out.

    • Bob

      Hi sister_h, well you’re perfectly right about what the white Americans did to the Japanese Americans was a blot on their history. My friend grew up in California with Japanese Americans who told her first hand about the camps and conditions. But what this has to do with censoring Prof Dawkins is unclear to me. Japan has second to Angola the toughest stand against Muslims in the world, with many restrictions on everyday life. Japan has some of the toughest race relationships with both Korea and China too. But this getting away from that Islam isn’t a race of people, any race can be Muslim, Islam is a political/ideal based on ruling the world of non-believers and killing anyone/thing that gets in the way of that end. To deny the Prof the right to openly discuss that with anyone that wants to hear what he has to say is…….bigoted.

      • vivalamigra

        Been trying to reason with her too…

    • Peter from Oz

      “Democracy depends on equality. Equality depends on refraining from
      demonizing whole groups of people — no matter how compelling or
      politically convenient that might be.”
      The only equality democracy requires that everyone’s vote is equal. One can demonise whole swathes of people (and we all do that) and not cause democracy any injury. For example, if the US government had not interned Japanese Americans during the War but instead had warned people to be wary of them, there would have been no diminishment of democracy. It was only when that demonising led to the loss of voting rights that democracy was affected.
      Most of the the best parts of a State’s governenace may have been introduced democratically, bu they are not what makes it a democracy. Thge rule of law, freedom of association and speech, the right to private property were all first introduced by Monarchies.
      A dictator could and probably would enforce draconian laws trying to make evryone, other than the inner party members, equal. But that wouldn’t be a democracy.

    • vivalamigra

      Again, your comparison with japanese americans has nothing to do with the Dawkins affair. NOTHING (see Bob’s comment below).. He’s being accused of critique a religion as it is practiced today. In the uSA, we have a constitutional right to do so. It’s called freedom of speech.

    • Tony Gaskin

      Congratulations. You have made a ‘simple’ point. A very simple point as it happens.

  • Alfred

    You’re a joke. The rest of the country is laughing at you.

  • Calvin Saxon

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the application here of the power move to cut off debate and discussion between reasonable parties. I think there may be justification for this in cases where the person against whom the move is applied not only 1) holds egregious views but 2) is unwilling to enter into discussion based on the use of evidence as support and logic as framework for making arguments. Universities and like-minded organizations (like KPFA) are becoming increasingly more willing to pull the plug on anyone they disagree with, regardless of whether that person is willing to enter into discussion and support his or her views. Dawkins may or may not fit 1). I agree that his calling Islam “evil” and impugning Muslim scholars is problematic. But he obviously isn’t doing this without justification and without a willingness to engage in a debate and explain his position. For both of these unfortunate uses of rhetoric Dawkins has presented well-reasoned arguments. Exerting one’s power to deny someone who is willing to engage in discussion governed by the rules and conventions of reason and science, the chance to do so, is far more disturbing and bodes logarithmically more ill for our future than Dawkins’ choice of words.

    • sister_h

      They are asking him to come on the air and discuss his position. They are just cancelling an event that would have been a fundraiser for KPFA which implies that they endorse him. They aren’t silencing him.

      • HiHo

        They are also mischaracterizing his position, and obviously so.

        • sister_h

          Big deal. He’s a big boy. He can go on the air and articulate his views. He’s got a lot of writings published. He has a twitter history. 🙂

          • HiHo

            If they are not being honest and accurate, then an ethical person should not applaud their actions. I am not concerned for Dawkins’ well being.

          • black rabbit

            To people like sister_h there is no such thing as “honest and accurate” there are only “views” and beliefs and everything is propaganda. She’s deep in the postmodern mire.

  • Odette Lauren

    I am withdrawing my support.
    What has happened to this station? Not very vigilant – are you even familiar with this amazing man’s work? Serving a broad and diverse community? No. You are serving and are fearful of the ignorant, reactive left. Sad day for Berkeley.
    Sent from my iPhone

  • black rabbit

    KPFA, the tweets you cited are dated from 2013-2015, they are not “assertions during his current book tour.”

    When you have to resort to such flagrant deception and dishonesty to make your case then you must certainly be in the wrong.

  • Unhiddenness

    Enjoying your fifteen minutes of fame?

  • Mike Young

    Your station is in a very weak position.
    If you think a person’s position is untenable, INVITE them to a rational debate, then dismantle their arguements.
    All you’ve done here is admit that you cannot dismantle his arguements and you’re actually afraid that he might be, god forbid, RIGHT. (Yes my caps do work, but god is not a big G thing).
    Being offended, my little snowflakes, is no reason to not have the debate.
    Weak.
    Mike Young, Perth, WA
    Geologist, Atheist.

  • Mike Young

    I always laugh at the use of the term “Islamophobia” as a PHOBIA is an irrational fear of or aversion to something.

    It’s hardly irrational to have an aversion to a religion which is, in part, so brutal. So it’s not exactly irrational, it’s humane.

    It’s actually irrational to be an APOLOGIST for Islamism. So you’re a Islamismophobic…

  • Jose Augusto Freire

    You are dictators who defend Sharia.

  • DVW

    KPFA is run by amateurs. Dawkins stature in science is recognized THE WORLD over. If we were living in the 1930s or 40s I’m quite sure he would have said the roman catholic religion would have been the most dangerous due to its open alliance with fascist dictatorships. He is an atheist, and by definition considers all religions to be man-made constructs. However ridiculous religion is, he does not discount the rich history of religion, or the literary contributions that countless religious scholars have made in its name over the last 2000 years or so. Indeed, he goes after and is critical of ALL religions. Do your homework, or remain amateurs…if the latter is the case, you’ll never be taken seriously by the educated humans, as we turn our backs on righteous indignation that masquerades as some form of social justice. And thanks too for those that posted all of Dawkin’s comments.

    • Richard Akers

      If this were the 30s and 40s, Dawkins would have denounced the National Socialist movement while saying he was not referring to all Germans. In order to support the national socialist movement, KPFA would quote him very selectively so to manipulate people into thinking he WAS going after all Germans.

      This is a fairly classic form of agitprop, and while it may be easy to dismiss KPFA as stupid amateurs, there seems to be more than enough method to their madness to indicate they are aligning themselves with Islamists quite intentionally. They certainly do share the Islamist position regarding the criticism of Islam, anyway.

  • Samantha

    This is absurd and I hope you realize the backlash is for good reason.

  • Alice Hoagland

    KPFA has made a serious mistake. To regain its stature as a defender of truth and free speech, KPFA should apologize to Dr. Dawkins, and take to heart his compelling objections to Islam.

  • Barry Klob

    So Dawkins was fine when he was criticizing and offending Christians but the minute he gives Muslims the same treatment it’s not fine? Doesn’t KPFA see a bit of hypocrisy here?

    • HiHo

      I think this point is important.

      KPFA and its apologists have noted that they were still fine with interviewing Dawkins, but that they simply didn’t want to be selling fundraising tickets on the basis of his appearance, as this might constitute a seeming endorsement of his opinions on Islam. Dawkins is well known to be a longstanding, strident and provocative critic of Christianity and Judaism, and yet his acidic attacks on those religions were not enough to make KPFA say “We don’t want to be seen as endorsing those views.” Apparently, an attack on Christianity or Judaism is something KPFA IS comfortable with being seen to endorse, but an attack on Islam is NOT something KPFA is comfortable with being seen to endorse.

      I can accept that the station might want to say “Islam in America is a minority religion, whose American followers are often stigmatised unfairly. We do not want to contribute to the prejudice and animosity expressed towards Muslims in this particular venue, even though we recognize the need for open and honest discussion. Rather than censor Prof Dawkins by asking him not to discuss this topic at our fundraiser, we realize that for this particular venue we made a mistake in inviting him, although we would like to discuss his opinions about Islam on air, and would be happy to host him. We would like to apologize to everyone etc. ”

      But that is not what KPFA’s apologists have said: they have focused on how offensive his opinions on Islam are, as though they were somehow unaware of the deep offense Mr Dawkins has given many people over the years. Apparently appeasing an offended minority is far more important than preventing harm to a minority, and both offense and harm to a majority are irrelevant.

      This position is hard to explain rationally. It bears no parallel in normal ethical behavior that I can think of. Either its proponents are getting well paid for it (which I doubt) or they feel that it is virtuous, in which case they are deranged, misguided, or perhaps stupid.

  • Marg

    Why can’t we both defend Muslims and defend the human rights of LGBT and women? Seems like that’s what Dawkins was saying. While KPFA has the legal right to cancel, I think it is a violation of their core mission: “free speech radio”. A very disappointing decision that validates Dawkins contention that some leftists are unable to tolerate complex discussions of these issues. I look forward to KPFA giving this discussion with Dawkins the on air time it deserves. When will that be?Also, he deserves an apology for his mistreatment.

  • Carey Winters

    Congratulations on protecting your community from hearing the views of one of the world’s most prominent spokesmen on biology and evolution. It is no secret this man, a rationalist through and through, disdains religion. He did, after all, write a book called The God Delusion. The attempt to suppress views that may be unpleasant or hurtful to some is at the very least misguided, but it is also a violation of the free expression of ideas, something the people in the Berkley area claim to believe in. Apparently, in Berkley “free speech” means the freedom to say what is locally in vogue, but does not include anything that goes against the local, social mores. In other words, hypocrisy is in vogue in your tiny neighborhood of America.

    I wonder if it has occurred to the self-proclaimed protectors of the “sensitive” classes that learning often begins by questioning one’s own beliefs? By something that shocks us into examining our positions, our values, our “received wisdom”? I am disgusted with the notion that free speech is now to be muzzled by a bunch of whining cry-babies, out of fear that other ideas, other perspectives, might be hurtful or insensitive. It is true that ideas can be dangerous; the idea of censoring the views of those we disagree with is one of these ideas, and it is very dangerous, indeed.

  • Greg Bordenkecher

    KPFA, which parts of Islam do you think are above criticism? Throwing gays off buildings? Is that not to be criticized?

    • Richard Akers

      In one of the Hadiths, Mohammad actually instructed his men to rape women in front of their husbands before killing the men, and this despite their objections.

      I think most of those like KPFA who have been conditioned to support Islam the way they do have absolutely no idea what it actually contains.

  • Steve Simpson

    KPFA- Shame on you! Correct yourselves and get back on track. You have done yourselves a disservice and in the process have slighted one of our greatest champions of science, reason and morality.

  • rch427

    What a craven decision on the part of KPFA. If the religion in question had been say, Scientology, would KPFA have taken the same tack in response to the very same language? Of course not.

    As for “…Muslims living under threat of persecution and violence” — the irony is of course that “persecution and violence” is meted out by no religion on earth nearly as much as it is by Islam, even to its own adherents. There is absolutely no question regarding that. Blaming Dawkins for simply pointing it out is disingenuous in the extreme.

    Finally, as for “While Mr. Dawkins has every right to
    express his views, KPFA has every right not to sponsor and profit from
    an event spreading them. That is what we’ve done.”

    Well, while KPFA has every right to try to silence public figures, I have every right to withhold my usual financial support from them. And that is what I’ve now done.

  • Odette Lauren

    Are you listening to your community members now KPFA? Can’t he be hosted at another venue? I bet a lot more people would come and money could be raised to promote real free speech.

  • Andrew

    Disgusting behaviour from KPFA. Censorship and dishonesty through the removal of context. The only solace is the damage you have done to your own reputation.

  • UK Chap

    KPFA, was this decision really just a publicity stunt to create outrage so that more people know who you are? There seems no other logical reason. If you think Dawkins has said things that are hateful then why not have him explain himself. If you are right that he is preaching hate then your listeners will make up their own minds and not buy his books.

  • Patrick Hughes

    After reading the comments here it seems everyone agrees that Muslims are suffering under oppression. But only Mr Dawkins is willing to admit the Islam is a big part of why Muslims are suffering under oppression. Mr Dawkins is famous as being an atheist and telling everyone to give up the superstitious beliefs. Just as we tell drug addicts to stop using for their own good Mr Dawkins is willing to tell Muslims to stop believing for their own good.

    • HiHo

      To be fair, if you want an oppressed group, check out #exMuslim. Those folks get grief from EVERY direction, but particularly from their former co-religionists.

  • hhhhhaaaaa

    Islam can not be “insulted” enough. Because its pure absolute evil. Which is fair to say because it claims to be a religion. Which it is not. Its a totalitarian faschistoid death cult disguising as religion. Which is easily understood if one knows that it was made up by a pedophile mass murdering mass rapist, a most perverted warlord. Since 1400 years islam and the muslims are at war with everybody else on this planet, and it is the constant agressor since the very beginning of it.

    • vivalamigra

      The question now is, why has the American left aligned itself with islamofachism? One reason, I think is that the left LOVES anyone who tries to challenge the US. If it’s a dictator, so what. If it’s a religion of death, so what. All they care is they stand up to the Big Bear.

  • JIMMY SPERLING

    The KPFA staff should have talked with Chris Hedges before they even considered using “Professor” Dawkins for a fundraiser. I mean, did they even think about his debate with Christopher Hitchens here in the Bay Area? You do know that only two days before, he had had a debate at UCLA with Sam Harris, right? Did you know that, as a result of those two confrontations, Mr. Hedges produced a book and audiobook, “I Don’t Believe In Atheists”? He found the viewpoints of the ‘New Atheists’ disturbing. He describes them as ‘secular fundamentalists’ and a mirror image of the Religious Right… both of which groups are utopian idealists championing the myth of human progress. They take their individual notion of good for a universal standard of social good. Such ‘thinkers’ in the past century, when they achieve political power, have called for the silencing or eradication of human beings that they deem to be obstacles to human progress. They prove blind to the human capacity for evil and eventually do evil acts, not for evil’s sake, but to produce a better world.

    • Tony Gaskin

      So bloody what? In fact, are you sure you aren’t Chris Hedges? I can’t believe that anyone else has actually heard of him.

      • JIMMY SPERLING

        I can’t believe that anyone ever heard of YOU 😉

    • vivalamigra

      Soooo???? The point is not to stifle ANY kind of speech.

  • VilaR

    Complete idiocy. Would you ban a speaker for saying Communism is evil? Capitalism? Republicanism? Then why did you ban Richard Dawkins for describing another ideology as such?

  • Toby

    Your decision was reprehensible.

  • lslerner

    To be more precise, Dawkins said that Islam is *currently* the “most evil” of world religions. What he clearly meant is that at present, Islam is doing more damage to civilization than any other religion. But in the past that “honor” has gone to Christianity and other religions as well. And of course the fact that Islam is currently doing more evil (or damage) to civilization than any other religion doesn’t mean that other religions aren’t doing plenty themselves. In the US, the palm goes to evangelical Christianity; in Burma to Buddhists (who have done endless damage to the Moslem Rohingyo) and in Indian to Hindus, who also persecute Moslems. But in the world as a whole, the distinction really does go to Moslems.
    Shame on KPFA for trying to suppress this obvious fact!

  • Atanu_Dey

    “I hate Jews, Israel should be destroyed, homosexuals should be thrown off buildings, apostates should be killed, women must be subjugated, and non-believers murdered.”

    “That’s really bigoted and hateful. You must be a retarded person to harbor so much hatred towards others.”

    “But I am a Muslim.”

    “Oh, alright then. That’s just fine. Sorry I thought you were a hateful bigot.”

  • Fed up with psychopaths.

    This is utterly disgusting. KPFA are showing that they support the HATE SPEECH by banning people who speak the truth. KPFA HATE SPEECH CENTRAL.

  • Ace Aardvark

    I support Richard Dawkins right to an opinion concerning the Islamic Ideology. KPFA’s suppression of opposing ideas is VERY TROUBLESOME to me. ALLOW DAWKINS TO SPEAK! End your tyranny!

  • Fed up with psychopaths.

    KPFA are afraid of being blown up by psychopaths. Just admit the truth. STOP LYING.

  • Fed up with psychopaths.

    KPFA are effectively saying “Please don’t blow us up muslim people.. Please don’t kill us! “. Because they obviously think all Muslims are terrorists. KPFA are ISLAMOPHOBIC and RACIST.

  • Like so many on the so-called “regressive left”, KPFA has allowed a quote taken entirely out of context to guide their behavior. Their “investigation” of the context of this quote clearly amounted to, well, NOTHING, as ANY educated reading of the quote in context clearly shows. True liberalism, which used to be a hallmark of the Berkeley community and, for that matter, most of academia, means leaving one’s mind open to ideas of all stripes. To engage in open, respectful dialogue with those with whom you disagree is the highest order of progressive behavior. At worst, if you believe somebody’s ideas to be repugnant, then let those ideas be expressed in the light of day where they may be examined, dissected, and revealed in all of their horrible glory. As Dr. Dawkins rightfully pointed out in his response, he is “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 [sp] Christianity but not Islam?” Because defending Christianity would not make the alarmists on the hard left feel better about themselves – as if obstructing the free expression of ideas with which you disagree is somehow made noble when you do so in defense of a beleaguered minority. Shame on you KPFA! If there cannot be free speech in Berkeley, then I fear for the future of free speech throughout our country.

  • sam rolfe

    The decision to silence one of the worlds most important thinkers and scholars in science and the advancement of science in preference for religious acquiescence is a clear and deliberate act against the betterment of society.

    I will be urging my representatives in Australia to reconsider VISA access to Australia and block any travel to this country from KPFA staff, owners and management as has been done to many other anti-social, highly regressive associations and individuals in Australia and Europe.

    The silencing of critical thought, the silencing of free thinking, progressive ideas purely in the pursuit of profit and the promotion of Islamic values over liberal, free, democratic ideas is abhorrent to any free thinking western nation and is by, in the extreme, a far more insidious act, an hateful verging on immoral and outright evil attack on civil society.

    Profits and Religion at the expense of free thought, science and progressive society is an utter disgrace of the highest order and is far vile than anything Dawkins as ever said.

    Shameful.

  • Gerhard

    For all the sis is here:

    If you look at the actual impact that different sexual practices have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil secual practice in the world has to be homosexuality.

    It is terribly important to modify that because of course that does not mean that all homosexuals are evil, far from it. Individual homosexuals suffer far more from homosexual conduct than anyone else

    Or

    “If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.

    “It’s terribly important to modify that because of course that doesn’t mean all Muslims are evil, very far from it. Individual Muslims suffer more from Islam than anyone else.”

    I just could not resist it 🙂

    • HiHo

      So people choose their homosexuality?
      Are you sure you want to draw that parallel?

  • mdadrian

    SHAMEFUL! Hitchens does criticize Islamism in the exact same way that he criticizes Christianity. I’m a Christian, and yes, it doesn’t always feel great to have someone state so blatantly that they believe your religion is a bit fairyland. However, it never crosses my mind to no platform him. In fact, I enjoy listing to his reasoning and evaluation of evidences.

    So, where is the line you draw on “Islamophbia”. Criticism of the ideology of Islam is not Islamophobia. It is neither irrational or a fear. I can see how someone could looks at all of the things going on in the world and feel that at this moment in history is appears that Islamist has a fairly global ability to bomb, kill, rape, kidnap, sell and trade slaves, pass out war booty, kill apostates, kill gays, and even kill other muslims who don’t follow the same muslim group as they do. I haven’t thought of any other group that is in their same realm.

    I understand that someone has claimed that his words have hurt them. Personally, I bet Hitchens might pay for a couple of their reps to come and talk about the situation with him. Being hurt by someones opinion is something that happens in American. We mush also learn to be hurt and turn that into a way to learn.

    SO DISAPPOINTED that this isn’t going to be put on.

  • Hugh Boner

    Quincy McCoy-perhaps a little too coy? Shame on you Quincy.

  • zana zangana (ex Muslim)

    The problem is Professor Dawkins’ tweet that he “hasn’t read Koran….But often say Islam [is the] greatest force for evil today”?

    I have read the Koran and the hadiths, in Arabic, Persian, Kurdish, and English, and I would like to assure Dawkins that reading the Koran and the hadiths will not change his mind. Islam, as well as Christianity and Judaism, advocate violence and hate.

    • Sally Mitani

      yes.

    • Bob

      Hi, being an ex Muslim must be very scary, every other Muslim is commanded to murder you anyway they can. Everyone you’ve ever known has to try to murder you or tell the local Mosque where you are so they can send out the assassins. You must be a very brave person to put yourself in the public eye in any way. I admit the name Zana Zangana isn’t a give away and the blank photo is a good move too, but still aren’t you afraid your IP address can be tracked down and handed to the death squads? Well who ever you are and where ever you are you must to have good reasons to put yourself against a lifetime of brainwashing for a lifetime of hiding.

      • zana zangana (ex Muslim)

        The level of danger depends on where you are. Those who reside in non Muslim countries are not in much danger, but those who reside in Muslim dominated countries they are playing Russian roullette and deserve all the respect. You need to know that it is the obligation of every Muslim to kill Ex-Muslims (apostates). This type of fear has been the controlling factor over the Muslim population for over 1500 years. Regardless of the danger it is time to overcome that fear and we should be able to reject Islam openly if one wishes to. The good news is that a great number of Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan gave up Islam and have embraced the old Zoroastrian (Zeradesht) path.

      • zana zangana (ex Muslim)

        I hope i answered the question about ex-Muslim. Regarding your other inquiries, I don’t think it is the bravery pushing me to be an ex-Muslim but rather it is the search for the truth and the obligation to help my fellow human being, the blank photo has to do with my technical inability rather than hiding myself. I have gone beyond just being an ex-Muslim and if you have more interest I just published a book ” Where was God hijacked?” will explain my view much better.

  • Laotuz

    You have no credibility left KPFA. This station used to be a valuable resource in what was once a center for the free exchange of ideas. You are now emblematic of ideological repression based on passing cultural sensitivities. It’s a shame. And a loss for all of us.

  • Todo123

    Hold the presses! Dawkins is cancelled because he says something you found offensive. Oh wait! Now you want to talk to him again? I am a progressive liberal appalled and your intolerance to free speech from a true scientist. What are you afraid of? Words?

    • Gerhard

      He is a polemic, not a true scientist

  • Jai Clary

    I dare you to put Mr. Dawkins in the same room as an Islamic scholar and an Islamic “scholar”. I’m sure he’ll have respect for one and not the other, and anyone watching will have an easy time telling which is which.

    He did not call Islam the “most evil” religion. That’s not even an accurate paraphrase. Embarrassing. Mr. Dawkins takes great care in how he words his criticisms, a care you don’t seem to have taken in understanding them.

    While KPFA surely understands its rights with regard to who it does and does not choose to provide a platform, it should also be aware that it risks lumping itself into a very dark little corner of the extreme left where the only good atheist is a silent one.

    I for one won’t be joining your corner.

  • Bill Smith

    Why do some liberals love Islam so much? Islam is the antithesis of everything liberals believe.

    It’s like saying “Richard Dawkins has said hateful thing about the Westboro Baptist Church, so we’re going to cancel his event.”

    • Gerhard

      If you were familiar with critical thinking you would question yourself if criticising someone for using hate speech means that you love the thing he hates or if it means you disagree with his hateful debating style

      • Richard Akers

        If you were to possess any critical thinking skills, you would realize that vigorous opposition to an anti-humanist, supremacist ideology does not constitute hate speech.

        • Gerhard

          Indeed this is why my opposition to Dawkins is an expression of love to help him to overcome his religiophobia 🙂

  • ekeefe41

    This is a bad joke… The “progressive left” and bullshit like this is why Trump won.

  • John Abatecola

    KPFA, you really surprised me with this bonehead move.

    Pay attention to what the man says, not what some pusillanimous listeners misinterpret as his message. Richard Dawkins is an astute social observer who needs to be heard, and whose thoughts about the negative effects of all religious dogma must be considered if we are ever going to move forward as a civilization, toward a more egalitarian paradigm where all people have the opportunities that only the most privileged enjoy currently.

    I only hope that if you come to your senses, he will still be willing to speak after the insult of you idiotic and knee-jerk reaction.

  • johnsmart

    Dawkins makes my skin crawl but KPFA really cannot call themselves open minded or progressive you you do oppressive , bigoted, blind cowardly, crap like this. Liberals have a MASSIVE blind spot when it comes to Islam. Frankly, other liberals – the ones without this blind spot – need to shake some sense into the left wings goofs who can’t see straight in this area.

  • Gerhard

    Just invite him on air to proclaim his wisdom and have WLC as a surprise guest. I always wondered what the Bay Area would look like after the explosion of a Hiroshima type bombs and when Dawkins ego explodes the conversion to m*c^2 will probably wipe the whole of cAllifornia of the napa 🙂

  • Forse

    “Speak truth to power”, you say, is part of your mission. Except when that power is the power of islamists to ally with far-left to shut down discussion of the issues within islam.

  • mikes

    Dawkins is absolutely correct about Islam, which offers a truly hideous set of moral prescriptions and proscriptions, correct about distinguishing beliefs from people who hold to them, and correct that Islam is a particularly pernicious ideology. KPFA shame on you.

  • twerk7

    Philip Maldari is unable to make a distinction between a concept of a muslim and a concept of Islam. There can be good people indoctrinated with evil ideology that is making their lives miserable and destroying everything around them. And that’s what Islam is. I’m greatly appalled that a grown up human is capable of showing so little logical thinking. I guess identity politics and logic, even truth simply can’t go together. Also almost all the callers are absolutely delusional. Did he even interpreted discourse as bs? It’s sad, but the man is beyond saving.

  • Mi St

    Not sure why Mr. Dawkin’s criticism of Muslims would be considered worse than his criticism of any/all other religions. Do you expect him to say “Yes, I think religion is irrational and a waste of time. Except for Islam. That’s great”

  • Kit_Darkfeather

    Just signed up to see him August 9 in Corte Madera. No proceeds go to KFPA.

  • S.T. Funken

    Shame on you. I would have never thought I’d say this a year ago or so, but the liberal left really has to die in a fire if this continues.

  • Tally Isham

    I am writing here to lend my support to Richard Dawkins. Dawkins wrote The God Delusion has made a career out of criticizing all forms of unproven religions, pseudoscience, and types of indoctrination, and now KPFA bans him over a few tweets and claims he is abusive toward Islam? A religion, by-the-way, that says atheists like Dawkins are wicked and deserve to be tortured in hellfires of Jahannam for all eternity at the hands of a just and merciful Allah. Just who is being abusive to whom? Do people not have a right to resist religions and ideas that make such hateful and unproven claims about the hereafter? These claims influence how nonbelievers are treated in the real world. And while Muslims are living under threat of persecution and violence, compare this to the persecution and violence ATHEISTS are living under, here in the US and especially in Muslims-majority countries. Several secular bloggers in Bangladesh got murdered. Saudia Arabia actually passed a law that says atheists are terrorists. Many atheists here in the American are afraid to tell their families and coworkers, and it is the atheist that gets banned? Are you kidding me? What KPFA is doing is upholding a type of Islamic blasphemy law. It is wrong and against the ideals of free speech.

  • johndjdavies

    Why misquote tweets you yourselves link to? Is accurate journalism so hard?

  • scottp

    Free speech is under dire threat, and has now been extended to scholars after at first being limited to non-scholarly cranks. You immediately jump from Dawkins’ criticism of ISLAM, the religion, and mistakenly, and quite stupidly, I might add, accuse him of criticizing MUSLIMS, who are people, not ideas. Your callers applauding your “bravery” are so deluded as to confuse bravery with abject cowardice and lack of logic. (These same callers are, no doubt, quite happy to unload on the Westboro Baptist Church, or evangelicals in general, with no thought for whether their critique is informed or not.) But to criticize Islam, well, that is equivalent to “racism” against all Muslims. You have lost your minds. Dawkins has stated his position toward Muslims as people at every opportunity, and in particular he has constantly emphasized how they are the true victims of the horrendously bad ideas behind Islam, and that these ideas — equality for women, gays, and freedom FROM religion — are part and parcel of every liberal’s belief system. The regressive Left (you are most decidedly not Liberals in the true & historical sense of the word) are operating under some misguided principle where you believe that you are protecting Muslims, and this is understandable because of the sickening atmosphere in this country that the extreme (and maybe even not-so-extreme) Right has caused under our monstrous President and his disgusting election process. But maybe you should think about what it is you’re protecting, while patting each other on the back and mouthing platitudes: subjugation of women, death to gays, and death to apostates. I wonder how many of your listeners recall the Saudi fire in 2002, where 15 girls died, ablaze in the building, because zealots would not let the firefighters save them — because they were not wearing proper attire. Now be honest with me: if that had happened in the context of the USA and, say, the Westboro Baptist Church, or the Mormon Church, would your listeners be applauding your decision to cancel a speaker who dared to criticize the ideas behind that religion that led to this tragedy? Finally, how dare you!!?? The utter hypocrisy of claiming to promote free speech and then declaring what speech is acceptable. You decide for me and all others what ideas we should be “exposed” to? As if we were not intelligent enough to listen and draw our own conclusions. Does this sound familiar? It should, it is part of the fundamental argument about free speech itself. I fervently hope that Dawkins accepts your invitation to be interviewed on-air; maybe he can help you understand a bit better that of which you are clearly exceedingly uninformed.

  • Derek_V

    Happy that KPFA outed themselves not worthy of my support dollars.

  • Effect

    pathetic

  • Martha Luehrmann

    Shame on you, KPFA. Shame.
    Dawkins doesn’t like religions of every stripe, He doesn’t limit his dislike to Islam. He finds them all dangerous and injurious. I agree. My daughter said, “Religion is the root of all evil.” I would not go quite that far, but I certainly think it is the root of much of the evil there is in the world, and provides theological support for much more of the evil.

  • Neverwas

    I used to envy Americans their right to free speech. Looks as if that beacon is burning less brightly.

    KPFA running scared of getting the Charlie Hebdo treatment?

  • Dawkins suggests KPFA thinks islam is a race

  • MrPerfect

    I’m disappointed by KPFA’s decision. You abandoned reason.

  • John Plotz

    When I came to Berkeley in 1972, I was delighted to find KPFA. I listened to it for 20 years or so, with decreasing delight. Far from promoting free speech, it became more and more rigid in its political requirements, more and more disdainful of any other point of view. I let my membership lapse — but I still listen to it from time to time — mainly to see if it has returned to its commitment to free speech. It hasn’t. It also seems committed to New Age kookiness and conspiracy theories. That’s OK by me — even when I hear, as I did about a month ago, a guest explaining about the conspiracy of international bankers that really runs the world, including, e.g., Rothschild. As far as I’m concerned, that’s overt antisemitism. But, hey, it’s free speech radio. Let the speech be free.

    So I’m not a member of KPFA anymore. I wish I were so I could indignantly cancel my membership over your idiocy about Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins is one of the most enlightened human beings on the planet — a good scientist, a marvelous popularizer of science, and a courageous enemy of all religion. According to the powers at KPFA, Dawkins’ (alleged) “abusive speech against Muslims” offended some people. As far as I can make out, Dawkins did not in fact engage in abusive speech against Muslims. The fact that some Muslims may have been offended by things Dawkins has said is unfortunate — but that’s how it goes with free speech. Debate about public issues should be “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and. . . may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasant [speech]”. Surely you are not equating free speech with inoffensive speech.

    What is particularly galling about your decision is that — as far as I can tell — the subject of Dawkins’ program was his new book about science. . . not his views on Islam. What you seem to be saying is that KPFA will not allow any speech on any subject from a person KPFA deems to be unworthy, even if the speech you are censoring is not in itself hurtful. [Of course, Dawkins would be considered persona non grata — not only by Muslims — but by Christians, Jews, Hindus, and every other religious believer.] You are censoring not speech but speakers, regardless of what the speaker might have to say on a particular occasion. Well, you folks have the power to do that. But you are goddamn fools for doing it.

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