Richard Dawkins
© Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Best-selling atheist author Richard Dawkins has once again been branded "racist" after he tweeted that the sound of cathedral bells is much more pleasant than the "aggressive-sounding Muslim Allahu Akbar."

The Arabic phrase - which means 'God is Greatest' - is used by Muslims, usually to express gratitude and commitment to Allah, and it's sung at the beginning of the call to prayer. It also has negative connotations as a number of terrorists have shouted the words before carrying out attacks.

Dawkins, who has previously faced a barrage of criticism for claiming in a 2013 tweet that Islam is the "greatest force for evil in the world today," was again accused of Islamophobia on Tuesday morning after sending a provocative tweet.

High-profile communist reporter Ash Sarkar blasted the atheist author of The God Delusion as a "tedious old racist." Meanwhile, other Twitter users said that rather than Dawkins being influenced by what he branded his "cultural upbringing," he was instead mired by "prejudice."

Last year Dawkins was barred from attending an event hosted by KPFA Radio in Berkeley, California, because of his "abusive speech against Islam." But in an open letter to the organizers, the writer insisted he "never used abusive speech against Islam" and was instead targeting 'Islamism,' a fundamentalist interpretation of the religion.

Dawkins also made the headlines in 2015 when he questioned the motives of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy who was wrongly arrested in the US after his teacher thought a clock he made was a bomb, and back in 2013 drew fire for comparing Islam and Nazi Germany.