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LES ECHOS

In France, A Muslim Offensive Against Evolution

A controversial Turkish-born preacher, who never appears live in public, is spreading a Koran-inspired defense of creationism. For some young French Muslims, this frontal attack on Darwin rings true.

In France, A Muslim Offensive Against Evolution
Stéphanie Le Bars

ÉVRY – On a recent Friday evening, Maroua Gousa was standing behind the latticed wooden partition in the Évry mosque's section reserved for women, watching a presentation projected onto a screen below in the large prayer hall for men. Fond of exploring religious ideas and practices, the 19-year-old student is taking part in a debate with 200 other participants in this city just south of Paris.

The gathering is actually the most recent instalment of a new attack aimed at the science of evolution by Haroun Yahya, an outspoken Turkish-born Muslim advocate of creationism, who is considered widely controversial within the Islamic world.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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