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Richard Dawkins deletes creepy tweet about ‘good Muslim’ Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and her ‘beautiful hair’

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Richard Dawkins (Rocco Ancora/Flickr)

Richard Dawkins took his strident brand of Islamophobia to new heights this week when he released a tweet praising Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan as a “good Muslim” for how she speaks, dresses, and wears her hair.

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The evolutionary biologist, writer, and champion of so-called New Atheism deleted his tweet soon after posting it on Monday, but not before a social media user preserved it for Internet posterity. This is not the first time that Dawkins has made bigoted statements about Islam or weighed in on what it means to be a “good girl.” The prominent figure has been called an imperialist chauvinist, a neo-Orientialist, and simply vulgar for issuing declarations like the following:

What’s more, Dawkins has been slammed by Muslim feminists for disrespecting and undermining them.

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In fact, there are even signs that Dawkins is infuriating and alienating some New Atheists, whose other controversial thought leaders include Sam Harris—an open defender of racial profiling.

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But what makes Dawkins’ latest tweet particularly notable is his own 2013 memoir, Appetite for Wonder, The Making of a Scientist. Dawkins’ musings on his colonial upbringing in then-Nyasaland, now Malawi, provide some insight into who he considers a “good” subject.

“We always had a cook, a gardener and several other servants… Tea was served on the lawn, with beautiful silver teapot and hot-water jug, and a milk jug under a dainty muslin cover weighted down with periwinkle shells sewn around the edges,” he wrote, going on to praise the head servant Ali who “loyally accompanied the family.”

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“Loyal servants turn up at several points in Dawkins’s progress through life,” John Gray noted in a review published in 2014 in New Republic. “The tone of indulgent superiority is telling. Dawkins is ready to smile on those he regards as beneath him as long as it is clear who is on top.”


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Breaking Banner

Donald Trump may kill off democracy — but Mitch McConnell was the real murderer

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Ever since Donald Trump's oversized suit-clad carcass first befouled the Oval Office, there's been talk in the media about if and when he would cause a constitutional crisis. The assumption underlying this discourse is that a constitutional crisis would hit us like a thunderbolt and we would collectively realize, all at once, that the very fate of our democracy was on the line. Instead, there's been a series of mini-constitutional crises, from Trump stomping all over our laws against foreign emoluments (an old-timey phrase for being bribed by foreign leaders), obstructing justice during Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's role in Russian election interference, blackmailing the Ukrainian president to extract dishonest election assistance and about a dozen other instances it would be tedious to list.
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2020 Election

Younger voters are most likely to have their absentee ballots rejected — here’s why

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As half or more of the 2020 presidential election's votes will be cast on mailed-out ballots, a new study on why absentee ballots were rejected in three urban California counties in 2018 reveals why young voters' ballots were rejected at triple the rate of all voters.

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2020 Election

Wall Street delivers a stunning repudiation of Trump and his coronavirus failures

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The stock market, the faltering Trump campaign’s last straw of hope for the November election, is turning out to be the Republican nominee’s short straw.

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Just last week, Trump touted the stock market’s generally positive performance through the pandemic: "Look, we're having a tremendous thing in the stock market, and that's good for everybody, but people that aren't rich own stock and they have 401(k)s," he said at a town hall appearance on ABC.

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