February 4, 2007
Turkey invades France
France’s Education Ministry has warned schools around the country against Islamic creationism theories after several thousand copies of an anti-
Darwinist book from Turkey were mailed to them, an official said.
The lavishly illustrated Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya, a shadowy figure who runs a large Islamic publishing operation from Istanbul, was sent to schools and universities over the past 10 days in a move that has baffled authorities, she said.
The Turkish original of the 768-page book, which rejects evolution, first appeared in Turkey late last year when it was also sent unsolicited to schools.
It sees Charles Darwin’s theory of the “survival of the fittest” as the root of many of today’s ills, including modern terrorism.
The French official, who asked not to be named, said puzzled school rectors had alerted the ministry to the large-format book full of lavish photographs meant to show that current animal species look exactly like the fossils of their ancestors.
“We asked them to be very careful because this book develops theories that are not in harmony with what the pupils learn,” she said. “Our teaching is based on the theory of evolution. These books have no place in our schools.”
… The Atlas of Creation is a novelty because it puts an Islamic twist on criticism of the theory of evolution, a cause championed by conservative Christians in the United States.
Harun Yahya is a pseudonym for a reclusive Islamic teacher named Adnan Oktar. Turkish intellectuals say it covers a pool of writers since over 200 books in Turkish—and dozens translated into 51 other languages—have appeared under this name.
… Darwinism became an issue in Turkey in the political turmoil before a 1980 military coup because leftist bookshops often touted Darwin’s works as a complement to Karl Marx’s theories.
After the coup, the military-backed government added a paragraph about creationism to its high school science textbooks. Leading US creationists held several anti-evolution conferences in Turkey in the early 1990s.
Atlas of Creation has over 500 pages of lavish photographs and a long essay arguing that Darwinism, by stressing the “survival of the fittest”, was the original inspiration for racism, Nazism, communism and ultimately the terrorism of today.
“The root of the terrorism that plagues our planet is not any of the divine religions, but atheism, and the expression of atheism in our times (is) Darwinism and materialism,” it says.
“Islam is not the source of terrorism, but its solution,” it says. “God has made the killing of innocent people unlawful. God commands believers to be compassionate and merciful.”
To illustrate the point, Oktar’s book charmingly features a photograph of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, along with the caption:
“Those who perpetuate terror in the world are in fact Darwinists. Darwinism is the only philosophy that values and incites conflict.”
Not for nothing does Turkey rank dead last on the evolutionary scale. (Albeit only one place behind the U.S.)
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