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KPFA, the original Pacifica radio station — and one that I think can fairly be described as left-wing — often organizes events with book authors. One recent planned event (scheduled for Aug. 9) was with leading atheist author Richard Dawkins. But KPFA has now canceled that event because of Dawkins’s past statements about Islam that KPFA management labeled “abusive” and “hurtful.” (For more, see this article by Frances Dinkelspiel.)


Of course, KPFA is free to invite speakers based on their viewpoints. (Though it is a public radio station, it’s not a government-run one; it thus isn’t bound by the First Amendment, and indeed has its own First Amendment rights to decide what events it will organize.) And it is free to disinvite speakers as well, subject only to any contractual obligations (obligations that, even if they were entered into, would likely be discharged just by paying contractual damages).

Nonetheless, it’s interesting to see KPFA’s rationale, just as evidence of how some on the left — a place that has traditionally been quite hospitable to hostility to religion — view criticisms of Islam.

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Opinion | Left-wing radio station KPFA cancels event with noted atheist Richard Dawkins because of his harsh criticism of Islam

It’s telling, I think, just what criticisms of religion some on the radical left now seem to be consider to be intolerable.