Richard Dawkins Takes Up Islamophobic Narrative about Muslims and Nobel Prizes
Before the most recent example of a Richard Dawkins bigot fart, Jai Singh put together an extensive fact sheet exposing Dawkins’ long pattern of bigotry and hate against Muslims.
By Murtaza Hussain
Richard Dawkins recently ignited a minor furor by pointing out that “All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge”. His defenders rushed to point out that his statement was merely a fact and as such there was nothing bigoted about it whatsoever.
Dawkins declaration also happens to be true when you substitute the word “Hindus”, “Blacks” or “Chinese” for Muslims here, but his admirers would have had a harder time defending the same statement made about any of these groups without being tarred as xenophobes.
This situation is often decried by New Atheist advocates and their fellow travellers as a ‘refusal to acknowledge reality’ – the ostensible ‘reality’ being their own inherent superiority over others. Nonetheless, they are hesitant about whom they relate this to and toe the line when it comes to which minority groups it is safe to attack and which must be avoided. Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor explained the fallacies behind this crude chauvinism:
Dawkins, as an educated man, should be well aware of the legacy of colonialism and of simple poverty…. When the Nobel Prize was founded in 1901, the vast majority of the world’s Muslims lived in countries ruled by foreign powers, and for much of the 20th century Muslims did not have much access to great centres of learning like Cambridge. The ranks of Nobel Prize winners have traditionally been dominated by white, Western men – a reflection of both the economic might of the West in the past century, preferential access to education for that class of people as well as a wonderful intellectual tradition .
The same reasons why Muslims are underrepresented in the halls of Western scientific achievement are also applicable to essentially every other group in the world besides white males living in Western countries. If there’s nothing bigoted about saying it about Muslims, Dawkins and his defenders should come out and make the same unqualified and context-free statements about other groups in society whom they see as not stacking up. The fact that they refuse to do so signals that this has little to do with courageously speaking the truth and more about picking out which minorities it is still safe to bash.