Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion' to be made available for free in Islamic countries following surge in illegal downloads

(YouTube/Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science)Atheist author Richard Dawkins appears in a screen capture of a YouTube video from Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science.

Richard Dawkins has expressed plans to make his bestselling book, "The God Delusion," available for free in Islamic countries due to the surge of illegal downloads of the book in Middle Eastern countries.

The famed atheist has said that he was "greatly encouraged" to learn that there had been 13 million downloads of the unofficial Arabic .pdf version of the book. He is now translating several of his books, including "The God Delusion," into Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and Indonesian in response to what he called the "stirring towards atheism" in Islamic countries.

"We are choosing languages, not countries," Dawkins said, according to The Guardian. "The pdfs may, of course, be downloaded by anybody in any country, but we imagine most Urdu downloads will be in Pakistan, most Indonesian downloads in Indonesia and Malaysia, and most Farsi downloads in Iran," he added.

"The God Delusion," which has sold 3.3 million copies worldwide, argues that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that a belief in a personal god should qualify as a delusion. The atheist author also contended in the book that religion is not a requirement for living a meaningful life.

While Dawkins is known for being a critic of all religions, he has been especially vocal in his criticism of Islam, calling it "the most evil religion in the world."

"[O]f course that doesn't mean all Muslims are evil, very far from it. Individual Muslims suffer more from Islam than anyone else," the author explained.

In 2017, Dawkins called out California radio station KPFA Radio in Berkeley after it canceled an event with him due to his remarks against Islam. He noted that he is also known to be a frequent critic of Christianity but he has never been "de-platformed" for that. "Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?" he asked.

Dawkins noted that the Washington DC-based Center for Inquiry (CFI), which recently merged with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, had decided on a "more systematic programme" of translating his work in ebook form.

The first book that will be translated would be Dawkins' shortest book "River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life," which focuses on evolution. The CFI will no longer work on books that already have legitimately published translations. The organization is hoping that the new versions will be made available on its website by the end of the year.

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