Thursday, June 2, 2011

In France, a Muslim Offensive Against Evolution


On a recent Friday evening, Maroua Gousa was standing behind the latticed wooden partition in the Évry mosque's section reserved for women, watching a presentation projected onto a screen below in the large prayer hall for men. Fond of exploring religious ideas and practices, the 19-year-old student is taking part in a debate with 200 other participants in this city just south of Paris.

The gathering is actually the most recent instalment of a new attack aimed at the science of evolution by Haroun Yahya, an outspoken Turkish-born Muslim advocate of creationism, who is considered widely controversial within the Islamic world.

Haroun Yahya, the pseudonym of Adnan Oktar, never presents himself in person, speaking either by video or through zealous representatives armed with grandiloquent tracts distributed for free. In France, he had already made himself known in 2007 when he attempted to introduce thousands of copies of his Atlas de la Création into French schools. His work purports to scientifically demonstrate "the frauds and dictatorship" of the evolution of the species theory. [...]

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