You may or may not have heard about this in the news.
Berkeley’s KPFA Radio cancelled a book event with the scientist Richard Dawkins, citing his comments on Islam, which it said had “offended and hurt … so many people”.
According to a report in the Guardian newspaper (24.07.2017):
‘KPFA … informed ticketbuyers that the event had been cancelled. “We had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science, when we didn’t know he had offended and hurt – in his tweets and other comments on Islam – so many people. KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech,” said KPFA in an email to ticket buyers, which Dawkins later published on his website. “While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologise for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins’s views much earlier. We also apologise to all those inconvenienced by this cancellation.”’
The article goes on to mention support for Richard Dawkins from Harvard professor and author Steven Pinker:
“Dawkins is one of the great thinkers of the 20th and 21st century. He has criticised doctrines of Islam, together with doctrines of other religions, but criticism is not ‘abuse’,” said Pinker. “People may get offended and hurt by honest criticism, but that cannot possibly be a justification for censoring the critic, or KPFA would be shut down because of all the people it has hurt and offended over the decades.”
According to an article in The Independent newspaper (26.07.2017) Dawkins was flabbergasted by the cancellation and is hitting back at allegations that he is Islamaphobic:
“Far from attacking Muslims, I understand – as perhaps you do not – that Muslims themselves are the prime victims of the oppressive cruelties of Islamism, especially Muslim women … 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?”