Richard Dawkins brands Saudi Arabia's 'offer' to build 200 mosques for refugees 'a sick insult'

The Oxford Professor claimed the Kingdom was 'deluded' for thinking mosques would contribute to the welfare of the refugees

Heather Saul
Friday 11 September 2015 11:08

Richard Dawkins has branded Saudi Arabia's reported offer to build 200 mosques for refugees arriving in Germany a “sick insult”.

A report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which quoted Lebanese press, said the Kingdom responded to the escalating crisis by offering to construct the equivalent of one mosque per every 100 refugees who crossed into the country over the weekend.

Saudi Arabia and other wealthy Gulf states have been criticised for their response to the increasingly stark humanitarian crisis across the Middle East, with Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council condemned for not letting refugees in.

Dawkins, a staunch atheist known for his controversial views on religion, blasted Saudi Arabia for only pledging something he claimed would not directly benefit the welfare of refugees arriving in Germany, branding it "either a sick joke or sick insult to German generosity”.

Saudi Arabia has reportedly accepted half a million Syrian people since civil war broke out four years ago, but as workers, not refugees. However, the BBC estimates that Gulf states have collectively given $900m (£600m) in aid through individual and charitable donations.

Angela Merkel has said Germany is prepared to accept 500,000 people fleeing war and persecution a year, while the country is already on track to accept 800,000 by the end of 2015. The German Chancellor has also called for the Dublin Regulation, a law that requires refugees to seek asylum in the country through which they first entered the EU, to be renounced as it places a growing and unmanageable strain on Italy and Greece.

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