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article imageBritish Muslim students boycotting lectures in evolution

By JohnThomas Didymus     Nov 28, 2011 in World
Professors at the University College London have expressed concern at the growing number of Muslim students boycotting lectures on evolution saying they cannot take courses in the subject because it is opposed to their religious beliefs.
The professors are concerned because the courses in biological evolution are an important part of the syllabus, and the theory of evolution is considered by modern biologists to be the cornerstone of modern biological thinking.
According to Muslim teaching, Allah created all that is and He (Al-lah) only needed to command "be!" and everything came into being. In contrast, the Darwinian Theory of Evolution, as expressed in the neo-Darwinian synthesis, says that all life forms evolved over millions of years by random mutations acted upon by natural selection in the struggle of individuals for survival. The theory asserts that individuals possessing traits that enhance their survival are immediately selected and spread their genes rapidly in a population. In this way, species evolve over millions of years from simple multicellular organisms to complex multicellular organisms including man.
According to the Daily Mail, some of the students who are boycotting the classes include trainee doctors enrolled in one of Britain's most prestigious medical courses.
Daily Mail reports that Steven Jones, emeritus professor of human genetics at University College London wonders why a student would enroll for a course in modern scientific biology when he knows its central tenet evolution, is in conflict with his beliefs. The professor told Daily Mail, "I had one or two slightly frisky discussions years ago with kids who belonged to the fundamentalist Christian Churches, now it is Islamic overwhelming."
Steve Jones, said:
"They don't come [to lectures] or they complain about it or they send notes or emails saying they shouldn't have to learn this stuff. What they object to..... [is] the idea that there is a random process out there which is not directed by God."
A Muslim group Muslim4Uk says that the growing hostility to Darwinism among Muslim students is due to the teachings of Turkish author Harun Yahya, who, influenced by Christian creationist literature in the West, especially the arguments against evolution, wrote several books refuting the evolutionary theory. Such is the growing hostility among educated Muslims and students that an imam of the Masjid al-Tahid mosque in Leyton who argued that it might be possible to reconcile evolution with the Koran got death threats.
Harun Yahya books and videos are very popular among Muslim students of biology and medicine and are available in many Islamic bookshops in the UK. They have had a great impact on the attitude of Muslim students to teaching of the theory of evolution.
The Express Tribune reports acceptance of evolution varies across the Islamic world , contradicting the stereotype that all Muslims reject evolution. A report by T.V. Padma on the Science and Development Network website says that more than 80 percent of Pakistani doctors in the United States accept the theory of evolution. The majority also believe that one could accept the theory and hold Muslim religious beliefs at the same time. In contrast, most Malaysian doctors reject evolution, especially the application of its theoretical principles to humans.
More about British muslims, Evolution, Quran, Boycott, Harun yahya
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