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Dawkins to give away free atheism books in Muslim countries

'The God Delusion' sold more than 3.3m copies worldwide [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 March, 2018

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Richard Dawkins said he will translate his books into a range of different languages to target those in Muslim countries.
Renowned scientist Richard Dawkins will release his books, including the popular ‘The Delusion of God’, to millions of non-English speakers from Muslim countries.

Dawkins said the book, which sold more than 3.3m copies worldwide since 2006, will be translated to Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and Indonesian and will be made available to download free as an ebook.

The controversial scientist and atheist said the move was in response to a “stirrings toward atheism in Iran and other Islamic countries”.

“We are choosing languages, not countries,” said Dawkins. “The pdfs may, of course, be downloaded by anybody in any country, but we imagine most Urdu downloads will be in Pakistan, most Indonesian downloads in Indonesia and Malaysia, and most Farsi downloads in Iran.”

An unofficial Arabic pdf of the book had been downloaded 13 million times, prompting him to announce the latest move, he said.

Dawkins regularly comes under fire for his views on religion, particularly Islam.

Last year, Dawkins was forced to deny using "hurtful speech" against Islam after a radio station cancelled a book event featuring the scientist.

Dawkins said that he had "never used abusive speech against Islam", adding that while he has called Islamism "vile", Islamism is not the same as Islam.

"I am 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 Christianity but not Islam?"

Dawkins said that he had "never used abusive speech against Islam", adding that while he has called Islamism "vile", Islamism is not the same as Islam.

In a report about the cancellation, KPFA said it had been contacted by activists who had described Dawkins as "a very well-known Islamophobe" who had vilified Muslims.

The radio station cited tweets from Dawkins including one that read: "I think Islam is the greatest force for evil in the world today" and pointed to a recent Telegraph article in which Dawkins was quoted as saying that "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".

The station did not include the full Telegraph quote, in which Dawkins continues: "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."

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