Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Talk at McGill University this Friday on Islamic Creationism in Europe

by Salman Hameed

I think it is not cold enough down here in Amherst. It was 8F last night and the temperature stayed well below freezing all day today. To search for some cooler weather, I will be heading up north to Montreal to give a talk at McGill University's Centre for Islam and Science. There are some fantastic people at the center (or centre) and I'm looking forward to seeing our old friends Anila Asghar and Ehab Abouheif and to meet Jamil Ragep for the first time. If you are in the Montreal area, come to the talk.

Here is the title and other information about the talk:

Friday, March 27, 4:30 pm
Arts Building, Room W-120
853 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, QC H3A 0G5

Islamic Creationism in Europe:
Biological Evolution in Service of the “Clash of Civilizations” Narrative

There is an urgent need to understand the dynamic of cultural interactions that define Muslim minorities in Europe. Gender-related issues and radicalization of Muslims are two topics that frequent the headlines. But now science is also becoming one of the contested issues. 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 European education system. Furthermore, Muslims are often treated in a unitary manner with an 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 in Europe.


Don said...

Really fantastic. I'm very excited about the direction of the talk from your abstract!

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