LONDON/ISLAMABAD – English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and renowned author on science and atheism, Richard Dawkins on Tuesday paid tribute to Pakistan’s only known, public, living, atheist, albeit former, Hamza Ali Abbasi.
Talking to The Dependent in an exclusive interview, Dawkins paid homage to Abbasi saying that his past contributions to reason and rationality will continue to live on.
“He may have bid us farewell, but the freethinking world will never forget Hamza Abbasi’s towering contributions to atheism,” said Dawkins, the author of An Appetite for Wonder.
“That he has managed to do so while living in Pakistan is a further testament to his bravery and integrity, given that he is challenging the status quo in an unsafe country, instead of just selling the popular religionist and nationalist narratives to enhance his own billing,” added the author of The Selfish Gene.
Dawkins said that pursuance of dogma and vociferously practicing it can sometimes open the pathway to reason for others.
“In that regard, Hamza Abbasi has been a champion of free thought, rationality, pluralism and open-mindedness,” maintained the author of Climbing Mount Improbable.
“One cannot imagine how many people would have been encouraged by Abbasi’s work – perhaps as a double agent – to pursue the light of reason themselves,” said the author of A Devil’s Chaplain.
Dawkins congratulated Abbasi for coming out of a closet that few dare to, if only to go back in. The atheist author further announced that the Richard Dawkins Foundation had announced a farewell party for Abbasi following his departure from atheism.
“Pretty sure he wouldn’t have got one after his previous ideological farewell,” said Dawkins, the author of The Ancestor’s Tale.