- The Washington Times - Friday, January 29, 2016

Famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has been dropped from a science conference in New York City after he shared a video comparing Islamists to feminists on Twitter.

Mr. Dawkins was scheduled to speak in May at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, but organizers announced Thursday that the deal was off.

“The NECSS has withdrawn its invitation to Richard Dawkins to participate at NECSS 2016. We have taken this action in response to Dr. Dawkins’ approving re-tweet of a highly offensive video,” the group said in a statement, The Independent reported.

“We believe strongly in freedom of speech and freedom to express unpopular, and even offensive, views. However, unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive, and even hateful speech runs contrary to our mission and the environment we wish to foster at NECSS. The sentiments expressed in the video do not represent the values of NECSS or its sponsoring organizations.”

The video Mr. Dawkins shared, titled “Feminists Love Islamists,” showed two cartoon characters, one Muslim and one feminist, singing about having things in common. Mr. Dawkins wrote: “Obviously doesn’t apply to vast majority of feminists, among whom I count myself. But the minority are pernicious.”

Mr. Dawkins later deleted the tweet after apparently realizing that the feminist character in the song was based on a real person who was subsequently “threatened with violence.”

“Having learned that the woman in the joke song is a real person who has been disgracefully threatened with violence, I’m deleting my tweets,” Mr. Dawkins explained.

He later responded to the NECSS announcement: “De-platformed for tweeting an irrelevant joke song? Ah well, ‘Always look on the bright side of life.’ Incidentally, would Monty Python have been de-platformed for that? No, don’t be silly, Life of Brian was only satirizing Christianity.”

He then described himself as a “feminist humanist” who “advocates equality of the sexes.”

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