Naturally, the formal similarities and analogies between politicized Christian fundamentalism (both Protestant and Catholic) and politicized Islamic fundamentalism (both Shia and Sunni) have been the targets of substantial snark from the Enlightenment/secularist faction, to which I have contributed my share. But amid all the persiflage about “the Ayatollah Robertson,” I never really thought that the Bible-bashers had any actual sympathy with the jidhadists.
But increasingly the objective fact of their common opposition to secularism, freedom, and science is generating subjective and strategic sympathy, at least from the Christianist side. (There might well be Islamist voices calling out for a united front of true believers against modernity, but if so I’m not hearing them.) When Catholic officials start citing the execution of homosexuals under sharia not as part of polemics against intolerant Islam but as evidence of the consensus gentium against gay marriage and of the relative moral health of Islamic countries as against the corrupt West, it’s time to sit up and take notice.
And now we find that the Turkish creationist movement, allied with the forces in Turkish society that want to pull back from Kemalist secularism and modernism toward what they take to be a more traditional and Islamic way of life, is drawing enthusiastic support from the Discovery Institute (the main promoter of “creation science”). And the bad guys are winning: Evolution is no longer being taught in most Turkish schools.
The political situation in Turkey is hardly black-and-white; the Kemalist regime is also the regime that practices torture and viciously oppresses the Kurdish minority, and the semi-Islamist Justice Party draws support from the poor rural population that is being left behind in Turkish economic development. But the further drift of Turkey toward Islamism – encouraged by the intransigence of the Vatican and the French government against Turkish entry into the EU – would represent a great coup for the jihadists.
So itâ€™s not false, though it is a little bit unfair, to say that the Discovery Institute is aiding and abetting Islamic terrorism.
Footnote Yes, there are Jewish creationists, too; one black-hat Member of the Knesset described evolution as a goyische bubbe meise â€“ a Gentile old-wives tale.