New Statesman’s Emad Ahmed revealed last week that the atheist writer “decided to angrily walk away from our scheduled interview after I confirmed my beliefs in the revelations of the Islamic faith, calling my views ‘pathetic.’”
On Sunday, Dawkins took to Twitter—as he does whenever he wants to start a fight or sell more books—to defend himself. Turns out, his side of the story is even less sympathetic (to him) than Ahmed’s version is.
I happen to share Dawkins’s opinion of religion generally, and of winged horses specifically. What’s truly pathetic, though, is his excuse for walking out on Ahmed. Dawkins has debated creationists, cardinals, and rabbis, but he refuses to be interviewed by a journalist who also happens to be a devout Muslim?
His reasoning, as has become increasingly true of late, doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. After all, Dawkins has submitted to such an interview before, in which the journalist likewise admits to believing that Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse.
Note that Dawkins does not storm off the stage. His behavior with the New Statesman interviewer, then, wasn’t some brave stand for reason in journalism. Dawkins is just using his beliefs as cover for his insolence.