Friday, January 08, 2010

Rejection of evolution as part of identity politics for Muslims in London

Here is a CNN story about the radicalization of Muslims in London and focuses on London Islamic Society. The recent Nigerian bomber, Abdul Muttalab, served as President of the society. What I found interesting was the fact that the society found it essential to include an anti-evolution video on its website:

The Nigerian is the fourth president of a London Islamic Society to face terrorist charges in three years. One of them is awaiting retrial, having escaped conviction for involvement in the 2006 liquid bomb plot to blow up airliners bound for the U.S., a precursor to the Christmas plot.

In November, the University College Islamic Society canceled, at the last minute, an appearance by a firebrand imam who preached at other London universities that women are mentally deficient and that critics of Islam and homosexuals should be assassinated.

After the Christmas scare, videos of UCL Islamic Society gatherings were removed from YouTube, and its Web site was taken down. An Islamic Society video allowed to remain online, presumably regarded by UCL authorities as not so embarrassing, boasted of "the collapse of evolution in the very building dedicated to Charles Darwin. In the spot he once lived."

This is a good exhibit of rejection of evolution as part of identity politics. Read the full article here.

2 comments:

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

Hmm. This bit is more interesting when read together with your observation:

He says AbdulMutallab's tutors "found it impossible to tell the difference between him and any other student." Are we supposed to be reassured?

Well, we know of one way to tell the difference now, don't we? If things get that way, we're likely to see a lot more people professing 'faith' in Darwin w/o any understanding of the theory or (as we talked about before) the process of science.

People always faked understanding of stuff, in order to, say, not appear 'dumb' or ignorant (and PC excesses are like that too sometimes) but this has a different twist as it would entail a particular sub-group having to appear to understand/believe things in order to avert suspicion of terrorist inclinations. Not good.

Salman Hameed said...

Bulent,

This is certainly out-of-the-box thinking :)

But I think there will be other markers more prominent than evolution that can be used to identify radical groups in Europe. Rejection of evolution is consistent with their views about the West, but not a central one - nor even an important one (unless exploited the way Adnan Oktar is doing in Turkey).

But what I was driving at was the fact that rejection of evolution by Muslims in Europe (especially in England) is driven by identity politics.