Richard Dawkins received criticism from his own followers when he described the call to prayer for Muslims as “aggressive-sounding.” People weren’t having it.
Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great mediaeval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding “Allahu Akhbar.” Or is that just my cultural upbringing? pic.twitter.com/TpCkq9EGpw
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) July 16, 2018
His comments caused many to speak out in support of the call to prayer that many have heard on their travels to the Middle East.
Muezzin is one of the most beautiful sounds – lovely memories of floating down the Nile at sunset with the call to prayer echoing all around. Yes Richard, it is your ‘cultural upbringing’ if that’s what you want to call it.
— Katy Brand (@KatyFBrand) July 17, 2018
The Muslim call to prayer is one of the most beautiful sounds especially when not done with a recording but a heartfelt song
— Kerstin Rodgers (@MsMarmitelover) July 17, 2018
Having lived in the Middle East for 15 years or so, I have to admit that I miss the melodic tones of the call to prayer at sunset. Those haunting notes drifting through the cool evening air seem to soothe the soul. And I’m an atheist.
— Mark Hardaker (@markhardaker) July 17, 2018
Yes, it is your cultural upbringing. I have woken to the sounds of ‘Allahu Akhbar’ in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, and never found it aggressive. Stirring, disorientating, rousing, quizzical… but never aggressive. Accepted it graciously as part of a complex cultural landscape.
— Stephen Pucci (@StephenPucci) July 17, 2018
Some people just felt it was a darn shame that he even had to tweet something like that.
You can’t sit on a park bench on a sunny day without turning it into something islamophobic?
— Amarnath Amarasingam (@AmarAmarasingam) July 17, 2018
Even Richard Dawkins own fans weren’t happy with him:
Dunno mate, but I think that’s the most disappointing thing I’ve ever seen you say (and I speak as a huge admirer).
Back in the late 80s, I lived in Turkey. Hearing the call to prayer from small village mosque towers at evening was one of the more beautiful experiences I’ve had.
— Richard Morgan (@quellist1) July 17, 2018
Hugely admire you but you’re being a prat mate. I have listened to calls to prayer over the rooftops of Marrakech as the sun comes up. It was moving and beautiful. Silly tweet. You know better.
— Dr Dave Newell (@NewellDave) July 22, 2018
Yes, it is your upbringing. And you have lost a follower.
— Michael Joviala (@mikejoviala) July 20, 2018
George Galloway also “chimed” in:
Probably a result of something rather more disturbing Richard. I’m genuinely surprised that such a man as you would tweet something as gratuitously vile as that…
— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) July 17, 2018