London, Aug 22 (ANI): Professor Richard Dawkins, author of books on evolution as well as religion, has said that popularising evolution in the Islamic world, where creationist beliefs are strong, was a challenge and he is keen to take up.
Professor Dawkins' books have never been translated into Arabic. His books The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene have topped bestseller lists all over the world, but never in a predominantly Muslim country.
"To be a bestseller in a Muslim country would be a personal triumph. I would like to see my books translated into Arabic. They haven't been. They are all translated into Hebrew. Persian, I'm not sure. My books are translated into Turkish and they regularly get censored and suppressed," The Times online quoted Professor Dawkins, as saying.
"The experience of my Turkish publisher of The God Delusion was that he was threatened with arrest for blasphemy. He may even have been arrested, and my website has been banned in Turkey. I feel amused really. There's something to be said for being suppressed, it makes people want to read you," he added.
While most non-fundamentalist Christian traditions have largely accepted evolution, Islam was still much more hostile to it.
"It's the fact that Islam teaches the Koran is the literal word of God, unlike most Christian sects, which say the Bible is largely symbolic. That could well be the cause," Professor Dawkins said.
He further said that Islamic influence is the likely explanation for the growing popularity of creationist beliefs in Britain.
"I hear that from colleagues at the coalface of teaching. There has been a sharp upturn in hostility to teaching of evolution in the classroom and it's mostly coming from Islamic students," he added.
Professor Dawkins' new book, The Greatest Show on Earth, brings together the scientific evidence that shows the theory of evolution to be true. (ANI)