www.CGPGrey.com [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

www.CGPGrey.com [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

“The most evil religion in the world has to be Islam” – Richard Dawkins

Famous atheist and evolutionist not only thinks that religious education is necessary for children, but also that it should be replaced by comparative religion so that they can see for themselves that none of the religions are right and also that Islam is the most evil religion.

When it comes to Islam, the evolutionary biologist is not shy of speaking frankly against it. He believes although “it's tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it's a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they're not.” Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, Dawkins claimed Islam is the most evil religion in the world . He added he did not think the same of Muslims themselves, because according to him, Muslims are themselves the primary sufferers of Islam, saying, “They suffer from the homophobia, the misogyny, the joylessness which is preached by extreme Islam, ISIS and the Iranian regime.”

However, Dawkins does not see himself as more extreme in his stance on Muslims than as Donald Trump. Of Trump’s policies, the scientist said, “That’s draconian, that’s illiberal, inhumane and wicked. I am against Islam not least because of the unpleasant effects it has on the lives of Muslims.”

When asked if he thinks religious education should be banished altogether to prevent children from getting brainwashed, Dawkins said religious studies are necessary for children because it helps them learn much about their culture, language, and literature. He points out much of the elements in culture and literature are drawn directly from religion, and to ban religious education would be to alienate children from their roots, keeping them in the dark about a lot of things.

He does, however, believe religious education should be replaced by comparative religion to introduce people to all religions, rather than limiting them to their own religion. The benefit of this, Dawkins says, is "They learn they are all different and they can't all be right, so maybe none of the are right. Critical thinking is what we need." Instead of getting them brainwashed, Dawkins believes studying religion can actually help children get out of the clutches of religion, without losing out on valuable knowledge.

Reflecting on his own upbringing, having been taught religion, he called it “evil” to scare children by threatening them with the fire of hell. He maintains religions should be taught solely for historical and cultural purposes, and not to instill any kind of fear of divine retribution.

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