"I do not believe that we are descended from apes. It is stated in the Qur’an that this is untrue." Muslims have been asked in recent weeks why they reject the theory of evolution. The questioner invariably encounters the same name every time: Harun Yahya…
"It is stated in the Qur’an that Allah created us from earth and gave life (breathed His own spirit in) to us. We reject the theory of evolution because it is an ideological system that seeks to defy religion. This theory is a scientific excuse. We reject the theory not because we are opposed to science, but because we have sufficient scientific evidence with which to expose its inconsistencies.” These extracts are some of the heated comments made during a discussion held at the beginning of the month with imam Taouil Nordine and Professor Johan Braeckman of Ghent University.
… The Year of Darwin, the founder of the theory of evolution, is approaching, but at the same time the theory is being increasingly rejected in this country. A great many Muslim students, for instance, reject the idea that living things have a common ancestor and evolved over the course of centuries. Nordine suggests that, "If we ask them, no Muslims will believe in this."
(De Morgen): Do you receive many questions about the theory of evolution from young Muslims?
Nordine: "Of course. Many Muslims go to school. It is quite logical for them to ask questions since they do not believe in it. That being the case they telephone me, or send messages. But they do not ask whether the theory is true, but rather how they should react against it."
(De Morgen): In contrast to the academic world, you say you have scientific evidence against the theory of evolution. Your point of reference on this subject is the Turkish Harun Yahya. How did you learn about him and his ideas?
Nordine: "... Yahya is not his real name. It is a combination of the names of two prophets who waged an intense struggle for the sake of the faith. Yahya wrote a book: The Evolution Deceit.... He has worked hard for the information he has accumulated. This has become even clearer now. Academic scientists most probably recognize his name. In early 2007 a magnificent book was sent out, generally to members of that profession, to Europe: Atlas of Creation. This 6-kg volume, adorned with stunning pictures and colored holograms, has gold letters embossed onto its thick cover…”
... Professor of Ecology Hetwig Leirs from Antwerp University: “... It (the Atlas) is identical to books handed out some years ago by a few Muslim students of biomedicine in the wake of classes on the theory of evolution. ‘Professor, you really must read this. What you told us in class is not possible. We cannot be descended from apes. We were created,’ (they would say.)” In his office the biologist states, “This book was called The Evolution Deceit.”…
... He conducted a study involving 200 students from Antwerp University… 86% of the students were Catholic. Jewish students lowered this proportion, and more than six people out of 10 did not believe that they were descended from apes. This was even clearer among Muslim students: more than eight out of 10 thought the theory of evolution was completely ridiculous.
… Atlas of Creation makes a very clear statement. In the book, Harun Yahya, or Adnan Oktar to give him his real name, exposes the “lies of Darwinism,” rather than engaging merely in a “biological discussion.” Indeed, he states that it is Darwin and his adherents who are responsible for all hatred, Nazism, racism, Marxism, fascism, and the terror attacks of 9/11.
Selahattin Koçak: "Yahya’s intention is to instill religion into young people, and it would seem that he is achieving this. This is indeed the whole issue, a return to pure Islam…”
Oktar… appeared suddenly last year, all over Europe. His was a new voice after the American creationists who have been opposing the theory of evolution, and years back he founded the Turkish-based Science Research Foundation (BAV) together with Turkish lawyers and doctors. In their view, their aim is to bring about “peace, security and love…” From the end of the 1990s they have dedicated themselves to opposing Darwinists. They waged that struggle on a gradual basis. In 2005, half of Turkish science teachers still believed in the theory of evolution. Last year, however, according to a similar poll, the figure had fallen to only one in four.
… Last summer, Oktar invited journalists onto a luxury yacht in order to answer their questions about the Atlas. "Hitler and Mao were Darwinists. Darwinism is the only philosophy that encourages conflict” he said. Tarkan Yavaş joined in, saying, "Turkey has become the center of the world." … Science magazine’s French correspondent received the following response to a question about the publication of the Atlas: "Will they round the books up and burn them, just like in the Nazi period?… No prohibition or obstacle can halt the collapse of Darwinism."…
In addition to his more than 250 books, Harun Yahya also has a large number of excellently designed web sites. And, according to Yahya, some 3,000 conferences have to date been held all over the world. And what about Belgium? "We do not have a conference set-up in Belgium at the moment.” He then adds: “That was the case in the past, but if you would like we can help you hold conferences.”