In both countries, religious extremists are expanding schools that privilege religion over science.
By Matthew James Seidel / AlterNet November 24, 2017, 9:00 AM GMT
At a time when hate crimes against Muslims are at an all-time high in the United States, it’s hard to believe religious extremists in the U.S. could have much in common with religious extremists in Turkey, where the population is over 90% Muslim. But they certainly share at least one thing in common: a desire to undermine the teaching of science in schools. They are even targeting the same subject, evolution, as part of their radical sectarian agenda. And if they succeed, both the United States and Turkey will face equally devastating economic consequences.
Despite sharing the same overall goal of eroding the educational system, extremists in each country have recently demonstrated a preference for different tactics. In Turkey, the approach has been quite blunt, as the government literally banned the teaching of evolution altogether. Why? Because, according to education minister Alpaslan Durmas, evolution is simply “too complicated for students.” Instead, students will be taught that humans were created roughly 10,000 years ago by God in accordance with the story of Adam and Eve. Durmas declined to explain how the mechanics of an unexplained deity creating the first man out of clay and a woman from his rib is simple.
The effort to discredit evolution is just one aspect of the battle over national identity engulfing Turkey, . . . .