Richard Dawkins comes under Twitter fire for apparently linking ISIS child to American ‘clock boy’

Richard Dawkins at Protest the Pope Rally in London, September 2010
Richard Dawkins at Protest the Pope Rally in London, September 2010. Photo: Colin Grey.

Nairobi born British scientist and writer Richard Dawkins has sparked a wave of criticism after apparently linking the Texan Muslim teenager who made a homemade clock which was mistaken for a bomb, with a child forced by Islamic State militants to behead his victim.

His criticism was a reaction to news reports that the Ahmed Mohamed’s family were demanding $15m in damages and an apology after the 14-year-old was mistakenly arrested in September.

The Tweet he linked to was an International Business Times report on a YouTube video appearing to show a child of around 10 years old being forced by Isis fighters to decapitate a Syrian regime army officer.

The message was met with a swift response from Twitter users, leading him to clarify the only connection he was making between the two was their ages.

Dawkins has previously expressed scepticism about Mohamed’s ‘motives’ in a Tweet last September questioning the “boy’s alleged ‘invention‘” was part and parcel of his “passion for truth”.

He also denied holding any “special animosity” against the teenager, saying: “No, I just want to alert the gullible fools who fell for his scam. And STILL fall for it even after his $15M demand!”

Seemingly growing frustrated by repeated requests for clarification, he likened this latest episode to the time his remarks about Mein Kampf were misinterpreted by “numpties”.

“I suppose I should by now have got the measure of the IQ to be found on Twitter,” he said in reply to another user.