From Denis MacEoin at Gatestone:
The strictures in the ways of thinking in Islamic fundamentalism affect all sorts of things, from politics to history to interfaith relations to peace negotiations.
We may ask why a wealthy state such as Saudi Arabia still beheads people on charges of witchcraft and sorcery, yet the USA, the UK and other countries engage in close trade relations with it. In 2005, Shafayat Mohamed declared that the 2004 Indonesian tsunami had been caused by a rise in homosexuality, yet he remains the imam of the Deobandi militant Darul Uloom Institute in Florida. In 2016 a Muslim man, Omar Mateen, murdered 49 gay men at a nightclub in Orlando. Had he been influenced by Shafayat Mohamed’s words? In March this year, a French survey of the main factors leading to Islamic radicalization found that the chief factor was that young Muslims interviewed “defend an absolutist view of religion — believing both that there is ‘one true religion’ and that religion explains the creation of the world better than science.”
Islamic obscurantism and opposition to rational thought do not just harm Muslims; they cross all boundaries, geographical and intellectual. The belief that the Qur’an, shari’a law, or prophetic traditions override science and reason — or that shaykhs, imams, mullahs, and other religious authorities in Egypt’s al-Azhar University, or in Saudi Arabia, or in Iran or elsewhere, are superior in their knowledge and wisdom to scientists, university professors or elected politicians, merely because they are experts in Islamic theology and law — all guarantee that Islam will remain fixed in its classical stance that all innovation (bid’a) is heresy and that heresy leads to hellfire. And that affects all of us, deeply. More.
Don’t expect your local End of Science rent-a-riot to try dealing with this stuff anytime soon. But could awareness of design in nature help break the deadlock?
See also: Nature advises scientists concerned about “marches for science” to just shout louder