Gazet van Antwerpen, one of Belgium’s Flemish-language dailies, carried a half-page report about Atlas of Creation sent to schools in Belgium in its 30 June - 1 July, 2007, edition. The report in the paper, which has a circulation of 150,000, appeared under the title “‘Evolution is the cause of terrorism’: mysterious professor’s creationist book sent out to schools.” It went on to say the following about Atlas of Creation:
“Adnan Oktar’s book Atlas of Creation has been sent out free of charge to many Flemish and Walloon schools. In this book, the Turkish professor rains criticism down on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. He also says that Darwinism is responsible for the Holocaust and the September 11 attacks.
The creationism in which Adnan Oktar believes is opposed to Darwinism. In Oktar’s view, human beings, animals and the Earth were all created by a superior power.
In his Atlas of Creation, he writes, ‘Allah (God) did not create the universe and living things with evolution.’ Oktar also believes that Darwinism is the real cause of terrorism, because he says that it is due to Darwin that people believe there are differences among races. He further claims that ‘The September 11 attacks are a direct consequence of this.’
In his creationist book, in which hundreds of photographs of fossils are laid out, Oktar has placed an image of a present-day specimen underneath each, stating that each pair of specimens are completely identical to one another and that this shows that evolution never happened. …”
The next part of the article went on to say that the writer had been subjected to pressure and conspiracies because of his ideas and activities:
“Who is this mysterious figure who has roused our schools with his controversial ideas? Adnan Oktar was born in Ankara in 1956. He later began his intellectual struggle at Mimar Sinan University, where he was studying. Refusing to accept the materialist and atheistic ideas of professors and students in the school, he began spreading the message of Allah (God) and the Qur’an. In the meantime, he began taking a more profound interest in the theory of evolution, publishing the leaflet The Theory of Evolution, in which he rejected Darwinism, in 1982. In 1986, in the run up to the publication of a new book of his, he was arrested for some controversial ruling stemming from a newspaper interview. … He was detained in a psychiatric hospital for 19 months. In 1991, Oktar was detained again. This time the police had found cocaine in his library. However, it later transpired that he had been framed and Oktar was released. In 1999 he was again imprisoned for nine months on suspicion of criminal activity. Oktar wrote a number of books under the pen name Harun Yahya.”
The illustration accompanying the report appeared under the caption “An interesting book, with huge illustrations,” and shows Paul Helsen examining Atlas of Creation.
“Helsen, vice director of the Sint-Victor Institute in Turnhout, is astonished by Atlas of Creation sent to the school. ‘This is a splendid book with fantastic illustrations. But since we have been very busy in recent weeks we have been unable to decide what to do with it. These books were happily received by the religion teachers who were very interested to gothrough them during the summer holidays. Perhaps they will do something in the next academic year. But should the curriculum be modified? There are still many questions about that to be answered’.”