Beast You Seek Thrives in Your Zoo Dr Dawkins!
Shaikh Riyad Nadwi, PhD
20 January 2006
local zoologist, Professor Richard Dawkins, has once
again tried to breach the boundaries of his mental cage
with selective science and arrogant certitude in a two
part Channel Four documentary, to argue that religion
is “The Root of All Evil”, “the elephant
in the room” ignored by everyone. It is a result
of, he said, “the process of non-thinking”.
What follows is a series of thoughts that occurred to
me, a believer in God, upon viewing the programme.
Guidance of Children
usual, Dawkins’ reliance on science in the programme
was selective despite the pretences of scientific rigour
made in grandiose statements such as “I am a scientist
and I believe that there is a profound contradiction
between science and religious belief” and “there
is no well demonstrated reason to believe in God”.
religious education to child abuse, he talked at length
on the need for children to be protected from the faith
of their parent on grounds of pseudo-psychology, yet
he failed to acknowledge, perhaps in ignorance of it,
that researchers right here in Oxford, have found that
children may have a natural tendency to believe in God
with or without the input of their parents.
instance, psychologist Olivera Petrovich, who lectures
at the Experimental Psychology Department at Oxford
University, explains that when Japanese children were
asked about the primary origin of living things they
would predominantly go for the word “God”,
instead of either an agnostic response (e.g., “nobody
knows”) or an incorrect response (e.g., “by
people”). She said that, “This was absolutely
extraordinary when you think that the Japanese religion
— Shinto — doesn’t include creation
as an aspect of God’s activity at all. So where
do these children get the idea that creation is in God’s
hands? It’s an example of a natural inference
that they form on the basis of their own experience.
My Japanese research assistants kept telling me, “We
Japanese don’t think about God as creator —
it’s just not part of Japanese philosophy.”
So it was significant when these children said, ‘Kamisama!
God! God made it!’ That was probably the most
significant finding.” (Interview with Rebecca
Bryant, Science and Spirit 2002).
children did not “invent an improbability”,
rather they simply followed their instincts. It is people
like Dawkins who are the inventors of improbabilities
with which they seek to stifle a force of nature; the
natural instinct to believe in God and seek His love.
“Bertrand Russell’s teapot” and all
other gods are incompatible with that universal and
persistent instinct to seek the One True God, The Creator
and Sustainer of the Universe.
skilfully avoided the fact that the failure of the so-called
“free-thinkers’ prediction” that religion
would cease to exist in the modern world is in itself
overwhelming evidence of a natural inclination in human
beings to believe in God and to seek His guidance. Instead,
he sustains his self-delusion with creative language
and presents the theory of evolution as a victim worthy
of sympathy. “I thought that in my lifetime evolution
would be accepted and taught around the world as a scientific
fact” but “evolution today is under threat”.
This, when the truth is that the theory of evolution
is still being taught as fact in the vast majority
of schools across the modern world.
the natural need in children to seek God is catered
for in schools with a religious ethos, it does not mean
that they will automatically become mass murderers.
Not so long ago in Bosnia-Herzegovina Serb, Croat and
Muslim children attended the same school for generations.
They studied the same “All-Yugoslavia” curriculum
designed for them by Marshal Tito, they sang the same
songs and played in the same play grounds. But that
did not prevent greedy politicians from igniting war
and causing untold misery to countless innocent civilians.
Politics of the Covetous
is greed and unjust politics that causes conflict not
schools that teach children to love God and accept His
guidance. Indeed, it is often the disregard for God’s
guidance that leads to conflict, as in the case of Jerusalem,
the place Dawkins used in the programme as a springboard
for his attack on believers in God.
the Talmud (Tractate Kesuboth) explicitly forbids Jews
from attempting to end God’s Decree of Exile upon
them and warns of the catastrophic consequences if they
were to try through human action (p.111a), the covetous
Zionist politician insists on calling Jews from all
over the world to do precisely that, i.e. come out of
and covetousness are the problem, not belief in God.
When greedy politicians exploit religion to broaden
their grab and strengthen their grip on power, wealth
and the property of others, believers are victimized
twice. First they are victimized by the politicians
who hijack their faith and second by the repercussions
of unjust policies perpetrated in their name, as we
have seen in the recent Neocon manipulation of Christians
in the United States. Ted Haggard, who was featured
in the documentary, is a cunning politician staunchly
exploiting Christianity to sell the Neocon imperialist
and Zionist agendas.
He does not represent the millions of sincere, God fearing
people on earth. His appointment to the presidency of
the National Evangelical Association (NAE) was highly
politicized. Perhaps Dawkins knew that it would be easy
to expose the weakness of a straw man who once claimed
that “Last week the Spirit of the Lord woke me
in the middle of the night and powerfully spoke to me…”
(The World Prayer Center/Pastor Ted Haggard and The
World Prayer Team - Colorado Springs, CO, 12/20/02).
Haggard is a Christian Zionist who has no limits to
the depths he will stoop to create spurious links and
claims to Palestinian lands. His latest stunt is the
publication of a diet book titled “The Jerusalem
Diet” (January 2006) purported to be written
in the aftermath of a visit to Israel.
Christian community also needs to wake up to this hijacking
of their religion before it is too late. Extremism is
indeed concerning in any religion but the problems we
face today in our world has significantly more to do
with the arrogance of politicians with delusions of
world domination, politicians masquerading as priests
and saviours while they manipulate the impressionable
to do unspeakable acts, be it the bombing of innocent
people in London with rucksacks or in Iraq with cluster
a convert from Judaism or any other faith does not automatically
make one an instant scholar and representative spokesperson
for Islam. Dawkins ignored all the mainstream Muslim
voices in Palestine and the UK in preference for someone
who seems to have an agenda of his own – to make
Islam and Muslims appear ridiculous.
Muslims have begun to recognise of late, the dangers
of being represented by the naïve and in some cases
by agent provocateurs. People have started
to realise that the damage they cause when allowed to
lead or speak for us is invariably devastating.
The “Improbable” Mountain
accept the words of the Prophet Muhammad (on whom be
peace) when he said, “I received Revelation from
God,” because in his Companions’ experience
of him he never told a lie in his entire life. This
is a fact to which even his enemies testified. He was
known as “al-Amin” (The Trustworthy ).
is no mention of a specific age of the earth in the
Quran. Rather we are informed of ‘days’
with elasticity in time. For example, in one verse we
are told of a day with a time span of a thousand years
(al-Sajdah 32:5) and in another verse we are
told of a day equivalent to fifty thousand years in
time (al-Ma’arij 70:4). These and other
verses taken collectively alter fundamentally our understanding
of the nature of time itself in relation to God. They
emphasise for believers the fact that God is the creator
of time and space and He is therefore able to restrict
or expand it whenever He pleases. These time- and space-altering
concepts were revealed fourteen hundred years before
the arrival of the theory of relativity. Fossil records
and Dawkins’ childish ‘mount improbable’
cannot undermine the Quran. In fact it is the Quran
that has demonstrated human limitations inherent in
the scientific process.
of years before seismic technologies were invented the
Quran described mountains as “awtad”
(pegs) as opposed to the ‘upward protruding mounds’
definition proffered by 20th Century text books. Now
we know that the Quran's description is more accurate
than that of (relatively recent) science text books.
More than two thirds of the body mass of a mountain
is embedded in the earth’s crust. see
below and http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1.htm#ch1-1)
The Body of Evidence
also argued that “the idea of a benevolent Creator
belittles the elegant reality of the universe”.
So what is it about the idea that is so belittling?
If I were to learn a few rudimentary details about the
engine of a car it would not give me the right to claim
that the car created itself. Similarly, if we discover
a previously unknown detail about the natural world
it does not give us the authority to claim that the
universe created itself and moreover that God does not
exist. If an aborigine discovers a transistor in his
radio and through experiment deciphers its function,
we would not accept the notion that that person has
become qualified to declare that the radio created itself
or that Marconi does not exist.
Dawkins is told by other scientists that the sun is
a nuclear reactor it does not provide him with the authority
or, as he claims, “evidence” to declare
that God does not exist, that believers indulge in “a
process of non-thinking”, that to believe one
must be “barking mad” and that God is “the
most vindictive character in all fiction”. This
is arrogance far beyond the limitations of science.
evidence' for Dawkins seems only to be those fossils,
catalogued behind glass cases in his lifeless zoos.
In God’s court, His evidence is all around us
and spreads far beyond the limits of our comprehension
– not merely “tons and tons” as Dawkins
said proudly, but billions and trillions of independent
bodies dovetailing elegantly though an expanding space
with breath-taking harmony. A harmony that guides every
sound mind to the Oneness /of the Supreme Creator.
is) the one who created the night, the day, the sun
and the moon. Each one is travelling in an orbit with
its own motion.” (The Quran 21:33)
built the heaven with power and it is I, who am expanding
it.” (The Quran 51:47)
The Root of All Evil
seems to have forgotten that the death toll from the
four main wars in the 20th Century is 130 million, which
is more than all the deaths in all the wars of all the
preceding centuries of recorded history combined.
atrocities and barbarism are his standard of measure
then we must look at the fifteen million that were killed
in the First World War (1914-18), the twenty million
in Stalin’s regime (1924-53), the fifty-five million
in the Second World War (1937-45) and, of course, the
forty million in Mao Zedong's regime (1949-1975) in
China. These deaths were not due to religion. They were
due to something much closer to Dawkins’ heart.
These were wars of human greed, the same greed and selfishness
that is a cornerstone of Dawkins’ philosophy of
life. Theories of selfish genes and greedy organisms
are the fundamental doctrines in his worldview.
book “The Selfish Gene” played a significant
role in popularizing the notion that “greed is
good” in the 1980’s. Natural selection,
Dawkins argued, favours the selfish individuals in any
species, and thus the ones who are out for themselves
are the ones still around to pass their chromosomes
along to those who come later. The fact that the teachings
of Prophets of God continue to influence human beings
is understandably uncomfortable for Dawkins. These are
teachings that warn against the evil of greed and provide
examples of self restraint, sacrifice and compassion
for others. The Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace)
warned his followers against greed, saying that “if
the son of Adam had an entire valley of gold, he would
wish for two valleys, and(until) his mouth will not
be filled except with dirt (i.e. upon death)”.
religion has been a restraining force on the dark impulses
of greed and tyranny throughout history. For when people
believe that this world is a temporary abode and that
they are accountable for their actions in a Day of Judgment
to come, they are more able to control their impulses
of greed and exercise patience and tolerance in the
face of persistent injustices and oppression. They are
able to be contented with loss and little in life while
they hope for better in life hereafter.
in a world of selfish organisms, where people believe
that this world is all they have, that it is their only
opportunity, their one shot to enjoy life, and that
they are not accountable for their actions, they will
plunder and kill with impunity, indefinitely until death,
because greed is a disease that knows no limits.
and selfishness are the roots of all evil not religion.
When someone does not believe in a Day of Judgement
and has no sense of accountability, their greed is more
likely to lead them to commit atrocities and countless
injustices. They will manipulate laws and misuse powers
to invade people’s lands, plunder people’s
wealth, justify torture, abuse and killing without remorse
or fear. This is reminiscent of the zoo of conflicts
we are faced with today in our world.
Mr Dawkins I say in conclusion: the elephant you seek
is in fact the culture of greed which your book “The
Selfish Gene” has helped to foment. Return to
your zoo and ponder the evils of the “would-be
killers motivated by” the lowest ideals: selfishness
and greed. There you will find the elephant sitting
on your heart. I pray that God unlocks your mind and
guides you to repentance before it is too late.
you are by greed for more and more. Until, you reach
the graves, But nay, ye soon shall know (the reality).
Again, ye soon shall know! (The Quran 102:1-4)