I should explain. The latest furore comes after Islamist extremists burned down a sacred library in Timbuktu, Mali, during the ongoing conflict there. Prof Dawkins tweeted "Like Alexandria, like Bamiyan, Timbuktu's priceless manuscript heritage destroyed by Islamic barbarians."

Cue much clutching of pearls and fainting. "He's been mean about a religion!"

A few things worth noting. One, Dawkins is on record describing Islam as "one of the great evils of the world". Not, it's worth noting, "Muslims", but "Islam", the set of beliefs and practices. He feels similarly about the Catholic Church (he's gently fond of the milquetoasts of the C of E), following the Steve Weinberg quote that "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion". Whether or not you agree with Dawkins (or Weinberg), it's frankly silly to get all upset about it now.

Further, as Dawkins pointed out when people started hyperventilating, if you burn down a library, "barbarian" is probably the right term (although it should be noted that the damage to the library now appears to have been less than originally feared). The barbarians in question were Islamic, and, significantly, their actions were driven by their interpretation of their faith: it is reasonable to describe them as "Islamic barbarians".  Dawkins said: "Christian barbarians murder abortion doctors. Most Christians are not barbarians. Stalin was an atheist barbarian. Most atheists are not barbarians."