As if Islam didn’t have enough problems, what with all the woman-enslaving, suicide bombing, stoning, whipping and beheading, now Muslim scholars are weighing in on Creationism, a real mine field if ever there was one. Previously the province of unreasonably enthusiastic Christian fundamentalists and equally zealous Orthodox Jews, Creationists believe in a strict interpretation of the Bible and maintain that the Earth is only 6,000 years old and that evolution is nonsense, all hard evidence to the contrary. The Muslims added their own twist to this tale, saying that indeed God did create man only 6,000 years ago, but into a very old world and universe.

Like all backward fundamentalists worth their salt, they still reject evolution, and profess that God created all of Creation in just 6 days, maintaining that one of God’s days was “a thousand years of your reckoning.” Which would still only make the Earth 12,000 years old; 6,000 for creating and 6,000 for the age of the world. That’s not only debatable math, but faulty logic, because if the Lord rested on the seventh “God day,” 1,000 years of our reckoning, then who was doing all that talking to Abraham, Noah and Moses so early in Biblical history, His secretary? And if it was God, then He didn’t even keep His own day holy! Now there’s a can of religious worms to deal with, like anyone needed another to go with the 8 bazillion we already have.

Sad how Islam has fallen from being the cradle of modern mathematics. Back in the day Islam was an important center of human knowledge, not only math but science, medicine, architecture, law, philosophy and letters, with learned people of all faiths and ethnicity living under a tolerant Caliphate and interacting in a Golden Age of Learning while Europe was mired in the Dark Ages, suffering under a hopelessly backward, superstitious and brutally oppressive Catholic Church. Learned men flocked to Islam where they could flourish, to learn from and share what they know with others without the very reasonable fear of being slain for their troubles in their homelands. No more.

That lasted for a few centuries and then a downhill slide started, imperceptible at first but inevitably gaining the speed of an avalanche until today finds few, if any, important universities in any Islamic nation and Muslims of several very slightly different denominations at each other’s throats. To their credit, however, they are leading the world in at least one category, that of attacking powerful “infidel” nations they can never in a thousand years (one of God’s days) hope to defeat. So these people are a natural for jumping on the Creationist bandwagon. If you’re going to go bat shit crazy, might as well go whole hog and latch on to as many loony and irrational ideas as you possibly can.

Which is not to say that all Muslims are like this, any more than most Christians are Creationists or bigots. The sane majority, however, aren’t doing themselves any favors by shutting up about their lunatic brethren, either in the women’s rights department, the sad lack of education in many Islamic countries, all the insane violence or even this little tempest in a teapot over Creationism and evolution. Is there anything less significant than Creationism when the world is raining shit on you every day? Sounds like one more jackass label for people to undeservedly hang on Islam.

There’s 1.2 billion Muslims in his world, the vast majority of them reasonable people trying to do their best in a difficult world, just like anyone else. Sadly, the mad mullahs and the terrorists are winning the public relations battle to become the face of Islam to the rest of the world. Is that helping anybody? A severe religion that is a hard sell at best, Islam needs somebody to step up and speak up, and tell the world that the Talibans and the Osama bin Ladens are aberrations and not the norm, and Creationists are a harmless enough bunch of dimwits, much like Creationists anywhere else.

They are not teaching science classes, or working in laboratories where they could witness evolution before their own eyes on the microbial level, and wield no influence among scholars and scientists. Creationists are generally well-meaning but dim crackpots or politicians, or both. Do Muslims need to add this baggage to their already sagging public image? Sounds like a job for the Queer Eye guys to come in and do a makeover for 1.2 billion people. They can’t do any worse than the Creationists and the mad mullahs, and Islam would sure as hell would look a lot spiffier. Then with their sharp new image, maybe they could open some schools and some minds. That would go a long way towards putting a new face on an unfairly maligned group of people. Reformation, anyone?

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