This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Scientist Imam threatened over Darwinist views

A prominent British imam has been forced to retract his claims that Islam is compatible with Darwin's theory of evolution after receiving death threats from fundamentalists.

Dr Usama Hasan, a physics lecturer at Middlesex University and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, was intending yesterday to return to Masjid al-Tawhid, a mosque in Leyton, East London, for the first time since he delivered a lecture there entitled "Islam and the theory of evolution".

alt text
Dr Usama Hasan, a physics lecturer, has received death threats from extremists

But according to his sister, police advised him not to attend after becoming concerned for his safety. Instead his father, Suhaib, head of the mosque's committee of trustees, posted a notice on his behalf expressing regret over his comments. "I seek Allah's forgiveness for my mistakes and apologise for any offence caused," the statement read.

The campaign is part of a growing movement by a small but vocal group of largely Saudi-influenced orthodox Muslims who use evolution as a way of discrediting imams whom they deem to be overly progressive or "western orientated".

Masjid Tawhid is a prominent mosque which also runs one of the country's largest sharia courts, the Islamic Sharia Council. In January, Dr Hasan delivered a lecture there detailing why he felt the theory of evolution and Islam were compatible – a position that is not unusual among many Islamic scholars with scientific backgrounds. But the lecture was interrupted by men he described as "fanatics" who distributed leaflets claiming that "Darwin is blasphemy".

"One man came up to me during the lecture and said 'You are an apostate and should be killed'," Dr Hasan told The Independent. "I want to go back – I've been going to the mosque for 25 years. It is my favourite mosque in London, and I have been active in the community for a long time. I hope my positive contribution will outweigh their feelings towards me."

Read on

TAGGED: EVOLUTION, HARM, ISLAM


RELATED CONTENT

Pakistani girl accused of Qur'an...

Jon Boone - The Guardian Comments

Tensions rise between Muslim and Christian communities amid claims that 11-year-old desecrated text

Update - NewStatesman article -...

AFP - Yahoo News Comments

A Pakistani-born couple were jailed for life by a British court Friday for murdering their "westernised" teenage daughter in an apparent honour killing.

British Police: You did the Islamic...

Maryam Namazie - - Comments

British Police: You did the Islamic morality police proud

Jihadists’ Fierce Justice Drives...

Adam Nossiter - The New York Times Comments

The vast desert expanse of northern Mali has become a magnet for Islamic extremists.

Letter to Trevor Phillips, Chair of...

- - Maryam Namazie Comments

Letter to Trevor Phillips, Chair of Equality and Human Rights Commission

The courage to think for themselves

Maryam Namazie - Council of... Comments

Over one hundred people joined the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s hugely successful 5th anniversary celebration luncheon

MORE

MORE BY TOM PECK AND JEROME TAYLOR

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment