Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dawkins' publisher faces jail over 'atheist manifesto'

The Turkish publisher of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion is facing six months to a year in jail for "inciting hatred and enmity.” The London newspaper The Independent quoted the publisher who stated that a reader of the book had complained to Istanbul state prosecutor and asked that the book be banned and the publisher prosecuted. Apparently, the prosecutor’s office is actively pursuing the issue.

If you haven’t read The God Delusion, I recommend you do so. (If you live in Turkey, I suggest you buy it on-line, read it in secret, and hide the evidence well.) It’s not a great book, but it is better than some of the other “atheist manifestos” that have been published lately. Regardless of your opinion of Dawkins, by writing The God Delusion, he has certainly started a dialogue concerning atheism. Whether that is a good or bad thing will depend on your own views and beliefs. The six thousand copies of The God Delusion sold in Turkey are hardly a threat to the republic or the faith of Islam. The 1.25 million copies of the English version that have been sold haven’t brought down any governments or caused any church to board its doors and windows. What it may have done though, is encouraged some readers to consider their faith and the consequences of believing. That’s a good thing though; to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, a person who does not think for themselves, does not think at all.

No comments: