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The New York Times wrote:A public radio station in Berkeley, Calif., said it canceled a live discussion and book signing with the evolutionary biologist and noted atheist Richard Dawkins because of his past comments criticizing Islam.
Mr. Dawkins was to promote his new book, “Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist,” before an audience of hundreds of paying ticket holders on Aug. 9. The event was also to be a fund-raiser for its host, the radio station KPFA.
The station sent an email to ticket holders on Thursday that praised the book but apologized for not having “broader knowledge” of his views much earlier. It added that Mr. Dawkins had hurt people with “his tweets and other comments on Islam.”
He said in a phone interview on Saturday that he learned about the cancellation only after a ticket holder received the email and forwarded it to him. He said he had received no further explanation from the station.
“Many people are saying this is a freedom of speech issue, and of course it is,” he said. “But it’s actually more of a freedom of listening issue. People bought tickets because they wanted to hear me.”
Mr. Dawkins said he objected to the idea that speakers who might be offensive should be turned away from institutions of higher learning.
“I do think that the business of universities is to expose students to all kinds of views,” he said. “If somebody objectionable like Ann Coulter comes on, they should argue with her.”
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.