Atheist scientist Richard Dawkins has denied that he is too aggressive in his views, and instead called on atheists to “take on some of the gentle decency of the Church of England.”
ChristianToday.com reports that Dawkins told The Times, "Rationality ought to be polite and humorous. Aggressive atheism is sometimes attributed to me, but I think wrongly.”
In the interview, Dawkins discussed a number of topics, including racism, religion, religious schools, and the refugee crisis.
He stated that many in today’s culture are quick to label someone as a racist, especially someone who speaks against Islam, but this is a misconception, according to Dawkins:
"People are terrified of being thought racist. There's an awful confusion in many people's minds. They think Islam is a race, which of course it isn't. If you're seen to criticise Islam you are often accused of racism, which is absurd. I'm all for offending people's religion. I think it should be offended at every opportunity."
Dawkins condemned the persecution faced by many who choose to renounce Islam. He said such “honor killings” are “deeply wrong.”
On religious schools, Dawkins stated: "I would like to see them abolished or at least the faith element removed. It's important to teach children about religion, but I'm against schools that indoctrinate children in a particular religion."
Dawkins also said he would like to see special priority given to Middle East refugees who have renounced their faith in Islam and are in danger of persecution: "In the case of immigrants from Syria and Iraq I would like to see special preference given to apostates, people who have given up Islam. They are in particular danger."
Publication date: May 24, 2016