Richard Dawkins Says Faith in God Makes People Capable of Evil Like Pakistan School Massacre

Richard Dawkins
Well-known atheist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins speaks to supporters during the "Rock Beyond Belief" festival at Fort Bragg Army Base in North Carolina, March 31, 2012. |

Atheist professor and author Richard Dawkins has said that it's faith in God that makes organized groups capable of great acts of evil, such as the Pakistan school massacre earlier this week where the Taliban killed 132 children and nine staff members.

Dawkins posted a wide variety of tweets in response to the slaughter, blaming both Islam and also religion as a whole.

"Mental illness can drive a lone nutter to it. But an organised group needs an extreme motivation — faith, in something like a god or Nazism," Dawkins posted on Wednesday.

"Very few faith-heads are as evil as Taliban or IS. Yet what else but faith is CAPABLE of making people do such evil?" he asked.

The actions of the Pakistani Taliban have been condemned by world leaders, including from majority Islamic countries like Iran. The Afghanistan chapter of the Taliban has also said that killing children goes against Islamic teaching.

"The intentional killing of innocent people, children and women is against the basics of Islam and this criteria has to be considered by every Islamic party and government," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

The Pakistani Taliban meanwhile attempted to justify the attack by explaining that it was revenge for the army's operations in the country that have targeted militants and caused them great losses.

Dawkins, along with a number of other prominent atheists, such as Bill Maher and Sam Harris, have openly criticized Islam in the wake of the growing terror attacks across Syria and Iraq carried out by ISIS and other Islamic militants this year.

Founder of The Skeptics Society Michael Shermer wrote in a tweet that was reposted by Dawkins: "Does it surprise anyone (besides @BenAffleck) that the Taliban killers in Pakistan, while killing 141, shouted 'Allahu akbar'? God is great?"

Shermer refers to an incident back in October when actor Ben Affleck criticized the anti-Islam views of Maher on the latter's HBO show.

Affleck called Maher's attacks on Islam "gross, racist, [and] disgusting" and argued that a single religion should not be judged based on the actions of a few, such as Islam and ISIS.

"How about the more than a billion people, who aren't fanatical, who don't punish women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, pray five times a day, and don't do any of the things that you're saying all Muslims do," Affleck told Harris on the same show.

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