Turkish book traces terror’s origin to Darwin’s theory

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 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 US creationists could only dream of.

Aykut Kence, biology professor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, said time for discussing evolution had been cut out of class schedules for the eighth grade this year. "The students will just learn there is a theory called evolution defended by Darwin back in the 19th century," he said.

Atlas of Creation carries 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.

The driving force behind these books is a reclusive Islamic teacher named Adnan Oktar who over the past decade has published a flood of books under the pseudonym Harun Yahya, which is probably a pool of writers, has turned out over 200 books in Turkish and translated many of them into 51 languages. Nobody seems to know how all this is funded.

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