Prof Gets Death Threats for Evolution Talk

Muslim scientist forced to apologize for Darwin lecture
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2011 4:36 AM CST
A Muslim scientist in Britain has been forced to retract statements about the compatibility of Islam and science after receiving death threats.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A British imam and scientist who tried making a point about the theory of evolution being compatible with Islam was forced to retract his comments because of death threats, reports the Independent. Dr. Usama Hasan, a physicist and fellow at the Royal Astronomical Society, was told by police to avoid an East London mosque, after delivering a lecture there earlier this year about how Islam and the theory of evolution were compatible. "I seek Allah's forgiveness for my mistakes and apologize for any offense caused," wrote Hasan in a statement.

Hasan's lecture—which reflected a common opinion among Muslim scientists—was interrupted by extremists, who shouted and handed out pamphlets titled "Darwin is blasphemy." "One man came up to me during the lecture and said 'You are an apostate and should be killed'," Dr Hasan said. "I want to go back – I've been going to the mosque for 25 years. It is my favorite 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." But the mosque dismissed Hasan from his duties there last week, saying his views were a "source of antagonism in the Muslim community."

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