The Atlantic

Why Richard Dawkins Thinks ‘Allahu Akbar’ Sounds ‘Aggressive’

As explained by linguists.
Source: Chris Keane / Reuters

Richard Dawkins is at it again.

The famous atheist and bestselling author of The God Delusion tweeted on Monday a picture of himself sitting on a park bench and enjoying a sunny day in Winchester, England. For many people, this moment might have been a chance to just kick back and relax. But apparently not for Dawkins.

“Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great mediaeval cathedrals,” he tweeted to his nearly 3 million followers. “So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding ‘Allahu Akhbar.’ Or is that just my cultural upbringing?”

Yes, actually, it is, to reported on the public outrage. Even by Dawkinsian standards of provocation, this latest statement felt to many like a shock.

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