The Balkanist has an article about Harun Yahya (real name: Adnan Oktar), a fabulously rich and absolutely bizarre Muslim creationist from Turkey. He’s been pumping out young earth creationist bullshit for decades, all while putting on a TV show like this one:
Harun Yahya is said to be the messianic leader of an apocalyptic Islamic sex cult. He’s also the owner of a Turkish television station called A9, and the host of his own religious talk show, which just might make your eyeballs pop out of your skull. The entire set and everyone on it glow like irradiated ultraviolet rays. Five amazing looking women usually co-host the show, wearing things like false rainbow eyelashes, wigs, and diamond-studded Versace bondage gear. The backdrop is a blinding fake lavender cityscape. Conversations often focus on how materialism and Darwinism are dead, how to recognize the face of a real Muslim, and how Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — with whom the host is rumored to enjoy friendly relations — is “one of the important figures for the End Times”.
The show really has to be seen to be believed. Here’s a clip:
That’s almost touching in its self-delusion.
Like most creationists, Oktar and his followers believe Darwinism is evil. And like many American evangelicals, they are skilled in the art of televangelism and the mass marketing of religious materials. The sect has produced more than 300 books to date, including the 800-page pinnacle of anti-evolutionary scholarship, the Atlas of Creation. A promotional video for the masterwork alleges that the book’s release had “the impact of an atom bomb”: According to a “scientific” study, before the atlas was published, a full “90 percent of Europeans believed in evolution”. Since the Atlas of Creation has been made available in nine different languages, “only 10 percent of Europeans still believe in Darwinism”. Real facts. Watch the entire promo video below.
The group’s theology has been described as a “sexed-up Disney version of Islam” by anthropologist Daniel Martin Varisco, and the show can even get a little homoerotic. A pair of hunky twins named Onder and Ender make the occasional appearance, usually wearing matching muscle t-shirts and excessive bronzer. The camera ogles the two decorative sphinxes while Oktar praises them for their muscular beauty. The women — referred to as Oktar’s “kittens” or “harem” — pose for promo photos together in overtly sexual positions, often coupled with slogans like “I read the Qu’ran” printed across the pictures like postcards.
Yeah, this is some seriously weird shit.