Reuters (Istanbul): Harun Yahya, has an influence U.S. creationists could only dream of
Reuters , one of the world’s biggest news agencies, issued an article of Tom Heneghan on November 22,. (News from Reuters News Agency reach 1 billion people a day) The report under the headline “Creation vs. Darwin takes Muslim twist in Turkey” included evolution themed works of world-famous writer Harun Yahya and how evolution belief lost ground in Turkey in the recent years. This report found a wide echo in various newspapers including Washington Post, the most important newspaper of USA, and anarray of prominent news sites includen MSNBC, YahooNews, AolNews. Some remarks are as follows:
A lavishly illustrated "Atlas of Creation" is mysteriously turning up at schools and libraries in Turkey, proclaiming that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is the real root of terrorism.
Arriving unsolicited by post, the large-format tome offers 768 glossy pages of photographs and easy-to-read text to prove that God created the world with all its species.
At first sight, it looks like it could be the work of United States creationists, the Christian fundamentalists who believe the world was created in six days as told in the Bible.
But the author's name, Harun Yahya, reveals the surprise inside. This is Islamic creationism, a richly funded movement based in predominantly Muslim Turkey which has an influence U.S. creationists could only dream of.
Creationism is so widely accepted here that Turkey placed last in a recent survey of public acceptance of evolution in 34 countries -- just behind the United States.
"Darwinism is dead," said Kerim Balci of the Fethullah Gulen network, a moderate Islamic movement with many publications and schools but no link to the creationists who produced the atlas.
A DOSE OF RELIGION
Like the Bible, the Koran says God made the world in six days and fashioned the first man, Adam, from dust. Other details vary but the idea is roughly the same.
But unlike in the West, evolution theory has not undermined the traditional creation story for many Muslims.
In 1985, a paragraph on creationism as an alternative to evolution was added to high school science textbooks and a U.S. book "Scientific
Creationism" was translated into Turkish.
In the early 1990s, leading U.S. creationists came to speak at several anti-evolution conferences in Turkey.
DARWIN AND TERROR
Since then, a home-grown strain of anti-Darwinist books has developed with a clearly political message.
"Atlas of Creation" offers over 500 pages of splendid images comparing fossils with present-day animals to argue that Allah created all life as
it is and evolution never took place.
Then comes a book-length essay arguing that Darwinism, by stressing the "survival of the fittest," has inspired racism, Nazism, communism and terrorism.
"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.
One Istanbul school unexpectedly received three copies recently. "It's very well done, with magnificent photos - a very stylish tool of creationist propaganda," said the headmaster.
The driving force behind these books is Adnan Oktar who over the past decade has published a flood of books under the pseudonym Harun Yahya.
"Harun Yahya has managed to create a media-based and popular form of creationism," said Taner Edis, a Turkish-born physicist at Truman State University in Missouri.
Harun Yahya, has turned out over 200 books in Turkish and translated many of them into 51 other languages.
Oktar, 50, appears on the group's Web site sporting a clipped beard and dapper suits. His works can be found in Islamic bookshops around the world and downloaded for free over the Internet.
Intelligent Design says some organisms are too complex to have evolved without some superior cause, but avoids calling that cause God because that would ban it from U.S. science textbooks.
But most Turks show no interest because they see no need to avoid naming God.
Other media which published this article:
- Washington Post, USA, 22 November 2006
- Indian Express, India, 23 November 2006
- Times of India, India, 23 November 2006
- Daily News & Analysis (DNA), India, 23 November 2006