Richard Dawkins sets the empty vessels clanging

Caption: The Muslim call to prayer is an aggressive assertion of dominance, like building a minaret on top of a church. Digital image: Lushington Brady

Richard Dawkins can be an annoying fellow. Despite his persona as a public avatar of logic, his arguments can often be quite shallow. On the other hand, he is at least intellectually consistent. While many leftist critics of Christianity refuse to say a bad word about Islam, Dawkins plays no such favourites. He criticises Islam just as vituperatively as any other religion.

And the left hate him for it. Quote:

Richard Dawkins has been accused of Islamophobia after he suggested the Muslim call to prayer was ?aggressive-sounding? compared to the ?so much nicer? sound of church bells.

The 77-year-old tweeted: ?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?? End of quote.

It should come as no surprise that the outrage-mongering Twitter mobs immediately swung into action. Quote:

Some responded to Mr Dawkins?s post by saying his tweet ?smacks of intolerance? and calling it ?prejudiced?, while one person branded the author of The God Delusion a ?tedious old racist?. End of quote.

But no matter how it offends the bien pensant lefty multi-cultists of Twitter, Dawkins? tweet is right on every count.

Church bells are lovely. In my little country town, the bells of the local Catholic church bells chime the hour. The soft sound of their peals carried on the breeze is soothing and charming.

And, yes, that is part of my cultural upbringing. As an Australian, rooted in Western culture, the sound of church bells is as perfectly suited to the ambience of a country town as the little 19th century wooden churches that dot the rural landscape. A Muslim call to prayer would be as alien and jarring in this setting as a kazoo in a chamber orchestra. Quote:

Others said Mr Dawkins was ignorant about the Muslim call to prayer and told him to listen to it more closely. End of quote.

Dawkins is right that the call to prayer, the adhan, is ?aggressive-sounding? and unlike the ringing of church bells. The self-righteous twits urging Dawkins to ?listen to it more closely? might benefit from paying a little more attention themselves.

While both the bells and the adhan serve to summon the faithful to prayer, the meaning and beliefs behind both are utterly different.

The ringing of bells is thought to have partly originated in the belief that they are apotropaic, that is, their sound drives out evil spirits. Thus church bells are at one level spiritually purifying. On another level, they are rung at Christmas especially purely to make a joyful noise. Even a non-believer like Dawkins can thus find solace and happiness in their sound.

The adhan, on the other hand, is an aggressive assertion of Islamic supremacy. The Islamic worldview is divided into the faithful ?winners? and infidel ?losers?. Thus the adhan bluntly states: Come to success! Allah is Greater! There is no god but Allah.

The aggressive intent behind the adhan, and its contrast with church bells is practically demonstrated in the sharia. Sharia law specifies that dhimmis are forbidden from ringing church bells. When Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, they immediately silenced the bells of the minority Christian churches.

BBC reporter Katya Adler observed how, at Christmas in the Holy Land, ?the muezzin were on the loudspeaker? from mosques everywhere while the church bells were played timidly on a cassette player so they couldn?t be heard outside the church.

If any further proof were needed of the aggressive intent of the adhan, Dawkins reminds us that: Quote:

?Allahu Akhbar? is the last thing you hear before the suicide bomb goes off. End quote.


End of quote.