Islamic Creationism and Biological Evolution in the Service of the 'Clash of Civilizations' Narrative
Science Workshop—Fall 2017
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | Join us in welcoming Salman Hameed, PhD from Hampshire College in discussing Islamic Creationism and Biological Evolution in the Service of the 'Clash of Civilizations' Narrative. All are welcomed, snacks will be served.
We are familiar with the narrative of the rejection of biological evolution in the United States. Every year when a poll comes out showing the low acceptance rate of human evolution in the US, there is a predictable reaction that laments the state of education in the country. The rhetoric, however, takes a different tone - especially in Europe - when the rejection of evolution is among Muslims. For example, a rejection of biological evolution is increasingly being used by the media and the far-right groups in Europe to paint Muslim minorities as outsiders that threaten the European education system. Furthermore, Muslims are often treated in a unitary manner with an incorrect assumption that evolution rejection is their default religious position. Conversely, many Muslims in Europe are embracing this rejection of evolution as an identity marker for being a Muslim. While religious objections to evolution are indeed at play in some cases, our understanding for the rise of Islamic creationism should also take into account socio-economic disparities and their impact on education for Muslim minorities in Europe. A nuanced understanding of this dynamic may benefit those who support both the propagation of good science and favor cultural pluralism, and may also provide an insight into more politically charged subjects, such as debates over free speech and women’s religious attire.