Thursday, September 18, 2008
A court has denied access by internet users in Turkey to the official Richard Dawkins website based on, of all things, a complaint by Adnan Oktar, the creationist who publishes under the name Harun Yahya. One of Oktar's more notable activities recently was to mail tens of thousands of copies of something called The Atlas of Creation, unsolicited, to schools, researchers and research institutes throughout Europe and the United States.
The basis of the ruling was, apparently, that Dawkins has "insulted" Oktar. Amazingly, Oktar was convicted in May on charges of using threats for personal benefit (i.e. blackmail) and creating an organization with the intent to commit a crime. Among the allegations was one by a fashion model who claimed she was blackmailed in an attempt to force her to have sex with Oktar and, when she refused, she was then slandered as a "prostitute" in fax messages sent to hundreds of different newspapers, TV channels, major business companies, foreign consulates and government offices. Naturally, Oktar denies the charges and promises an appeal.
This is not the first time Oktar has used this tactic, having had other sites, including Google Groups, blocked on complaints of libel.
Whatever the truth of any particular charge against Oktar, one thing is pretty certain ... no matter how much Dawkins insulted him, it wasn't enough by half.
I wonder if the American Creationists who loved "Atlas of Creation" know about that one.