Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has once again slammed the media for claiming that the atrocities carried out against Christians by Islamic extremists have "nothing to do with religion" following the attack that killed 70 Pakistani Christians, mostly women and children, on Easter Sunday in Lahore.
On Tuesday, the 75-year-old "God Delusion" author took to Twitter to offer a brief commentary on the recent tragedy: "Pak bomb kills 72," he wrote, and quoted the perpetrators of the attack as stating, "We have carried out this attack to target Christians who were celebrating Easter."
"Ah, nothing to do with religion, then," Dawkins quipped.
The Islamic extremist group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which splintered from the Taliban and has pledged loyalty to ISIS, has taken responsibility for the attack. In a media statement, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said a suicide bomber deliberately targeted the Christian community.
"We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter," Ehsan said in the statement, adding that the attack had been carried out under an operation code-named Saut Ul Raad (Sound of Lightning), "which will continue throughout this year."
"It was part of our annual martyrdom attacks we have started this year," Ehsan said, adding that "we had been waiting for this occasion ... We want to convey to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the prime minister that we have arrived in Punjab and we will reach you."
The brutal attack also comes less than a week after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry officially declared Islamic extremists are committing "genocide" against Christians and other ancient minority groups in the Middle East.
Despite this, Dawkins contends that the mainstream media continually responds to jihadist attacks by dismissing the idea that terrorist groups have anything to do with Islam. In December, he refused to mince words when calling out leftist apologists of Islamic extremism and accused many in the media of turning a "treacherous" blind eye to the shocking human rights abuses carried out by Muslims around the world.
"Regressive left turns treacherous, blind eye on misogyny & homophobia because they absurdly think Islam must be 'respected' as a 'race,'" he wrote.
When several commenters attempted to debate the issue, mockingly telling Dawkins "There's no shame in being conned," the outspoken atheist reiterated, "Actually I think there is shame. Because the misogyny & homophobia promoted by Islam is no secret & v well known."
In October, Dawkins was a guest on HBO host Bill Maher's "Real Time", where Maher said it is "ridiculous" that some make out Muslims to be a "protected species."
Dawkins concurred that those who criticize Muslims were often condemned as racist, referencing the case of Warwick University's students' union declining atheist and critic of extremist Islam Maryam Namazie the opportunity to speak at the school earlier in October, out of fear of offending the religion.
"If you can't speak your mind at a university campus, where can you? I mean that's what universities are about. It's about free speech," Dawkins said.
"So they think that if you criticize Islam you're being racist and you're absolutely right that the regressive [liberals] give a free pass to Islam," the atheist author continued.
"They're kind of right about everything else, I mean, they're right about misogyny and all of the other good things. But in the case of Islam, it just gets a free pass and I think it is because of the terror of being thought racist."
In the past, Dawkins even conceded that "Christianity may actually be our best defense against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world," as earlier reported by The Gospel Herald.
Dawkins noted that Christianity, unlike Islam, does not make use of violent methods to fulfill its teachings. "There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death," he said.
He admitted that he has "mixed feelings" concerning the decline of Christianity because this faith-based group might just be "a bulwark against something worse."