Muslim creationist preaches Islam and awaits Christ

Muslim creationist preaches Islam and awaits Christ

Harun Yahya is one of the most widely distributed authors in the Muslim world.

His glossy books and DVDs on religion and science sell in Islamic bookshops around the globe. He gives away thousands of expensive volumes and lets readers download much of his work from his websites for free.

The Council of Europe accuses him of trying to infiltrate schools with religious texts and French teachers are told to keep his work from their students.

Unknown outside Muslim circles two years ago, Adnan Oktar — the 52-year-old Turk behind the pseudonym Harun Yahya — caught the attention of scientists and teachers in Europe and North America by mass-mailing them his 768-page “Atlas of Creation“.

His lavishly illustrated book preaches a Muslim version of creationism, the view scientists usually hear from Christian fundamentalists who say God created all life on earth just as it is today and oppose the teaching of Darwin’s evolution theory.

The controversy stirred up by “The Atlas” has turned the spotlight on a publishing empire that boasts about 260 books in 52 languages, over 80 DVDs and dozens of websites.

Well-illustrated and free of theological jargon, they preach that Islam is the one true faith and Darwinism, by undermining religious belief, has led to the discord, atheism, terrorism and extreme political ideologies plaguing the world.

Reader-friendly, the books appeal to Muslims trying to square modern science with their faith.

Oktar offers his works for free download, even the huge Atlas which in printed form sells for $99 (50 pounds) on his website. His other printed books are standard size and sell at more modest prices.

Harun is Arabic for Aaron, the brother of Moses. Yahya is Arabic for John — in this case, John the Baptist, he said.

“Harun was the helper of the prophet Moses. Yahya was also the helper of Jesus Christ,” Oktar said. “When Jesus Christ comes to the world, we also would like to be helping him … You might say this is a prayer for that.”

Oktar said Koran verses and sayings of the Prophet Mohammed about the end of the world revealed Jesus would return soon to help Islam’s saviour, the Mahdi, defeat the Dajjal or Islamic Anti-Christ.

“Our biggest project right now is to lay the grounds for the coming of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We understand this is going to be in the next 20 to 25 years.”

The idea of Jesus returning to help Muslims is standard Islamic teaching about the end of times. But Muslims normally stress the end times less than evangelical Christians do.

– Source: Muslim creationist preaches Islam and awaits Christ, Middle East Online, June 24, 2008

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday June 25, 2008.
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