Below is a wrap- up from AIC’s fourth event in a six-part lecture Science and Islam series, Tomorrow’s World: Religion or Science:

Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, Professor of Religion at San Diego State University:

“Religion is what it is, science is what it is. If they work together in a complementary manner, we have a fine thing.”

“Muslims began to read the Koran differently…we find…arguments about what truth means in the Koran.”

In the Islamic Golden Age, “there was no line drawn [between religion or science]…the pursuit of sciences was seen as something sacred”

“In the Middle Eastern governments where there is Muslim majority, they are still theocratically constructed; in theocracy, you can never have freedom of research, so the ideas of think-tanks, they are established in the States.”


Dr. Jalees Rehman, Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC):

“Science does not promise enteral truths, it just promises us to give us some insight into the current state of affairs…If you uphold dogma…chances are you will never do cutting-edge science. Be willing to say… nothing is sacred.”

“There is a difference between technology and science… the 30 Years War was single most devastating era, religion was one of main reasons… that war was fought with… armors and spears…this was not the era of the nuclear bomb.””

“[Muslim] students [in the Chicago area] say they don’t mind learning about evolution because they want to go to good universities but have preconceived notions this is wrong. So if you already have children going to school thinking, ‘well there is the real truth and there is the stuff you learn to get good grades,’ I think this is very unhealthy to future scientific Americans.”

“The impetus [to juxtapose science and Islam]  comes from recognition of the success science has had in the world. Why is our life better today than 500 years ago?”

“A big part of fostering a scientific environment is not just giving dollars…If you look at universities which produce the most Nobel laureates…they have an environment where they are freely allowed to question authorities…”


Dr. Zakyi Ibrahim, Associate Professor of Comparative Religion at California State University, Fullerton:

“Islam is a religion that has its own worldview that doesn’t inherently contradict values such as human rights and democracy.”

“If the scientific pursuit is so embedded in the Koran worldview, where is the point of disconnect?”

“It is imperative for Muslims to create more think-tanks and research institutes to chart the course of future trajectories of Muslim thought.”

“The kind of students or researchers who are there [in the Muslims world] they work under certain parameters; they are not encouraged to question… manipulations and dictatorship get in the way of conducting real research most of the time.”