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Keywords:

  • Creationism;
  • Iran;
  • Israel;
  • Saudi Arabia;
  • science education;
  • Turkey

Statements made in a recent outcry against a creationist in the Israeli Ministry of Education starkly illuminated Western misconceptions about Iranian science education. These misconceptions are perpetuated not only among the general public but also within the international scientific community, where investigations of "Islamic creationism" often incorporate misleading assumptions regarding Islamic religious attitudes toward science as well as the nature of secularism in non-Western states. In turn, these assumptions have led to superficial analyses that overly rely on state religiosity to explain the treatment of evolution in national science education. Therefore, a new framework accounting for local political and social circumstances is crucial and urgently needed to effectively analyze science education in the Middle East.