KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 ― A deputy minister's claim that atheism was illegal in Malaysia has invited mockery from one of the world’s most famous atheists: British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.
Dawkins was commenting on a report of Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki’s assertion that the freedom of religion accorded to Malaysians did not mean a freedom from all faith.
“Words fail me. How do you deal with such prodigies of stupidity and injustice?” Dawkins wrote on Twitter.
Malaysian lawyers, legislators, and interfaith groups have disputed Asyraf's position, insisting there is nothing in local law that requires non-Muslims to profess a religion.
Dawkins is the author of The God Delusion and gained prominence as an atheist after he took part in repeated public debates on religion.
He is known for his acerbic remarks about religions and their followers, but is often criticised for his tendency to respond aggressively and derisively to opponents in debates.