Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Intelligence² Debate: Islam is a Religion of Peace?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray vs. Zeba Khan, Maajid Nawaz

October 6, 2010 by Intelligence Squared:
Is the rise of terrorism and violence justifiably traced to the teachings of Islam, or is this call to war a twisted interpretation of the true Muslim faith? Most of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are moderates who see Islamic terrorism as a violation of their sacred texts. Is it wrong to let a radical minority represent authentic Islam? Has fear blinded us to its lessons of tolerance and peace?


  1. Let's get a couple of things straight,

    1. There is no "rise of terrorism and violence." Isolated incidents of terrorism have been going on for decades, and there is no evidence of any substantial upward trend in the number or severity of such incidents. On the other hand, there is a clear trend in worldwide violence: a downward one. So much for the rise of terrorism and violence. 

    2. There is no "true Muslim faith," nor any "authentic Islam." There is no objective basis upon which to deem any one interpretation of the religion any more "authentic" than any other. Nor is the numerosity of so-called "moderates"--who, I would point out, are hardly unanimous in the precise delineations of their faith--relevant. That would be what we in the business would call a logical fallacy.

    Fuckin' noobs these days...

  2. Thanks for posting this debate. 
    Ayaan Hirsa Ali, Douglas Murray did a good job here. Some of their points got drowned out by people talking over each other. 

  3. Was wondering if you could post up some sources that support your first point?

  4. fuckyou islam is a peace religon!!

  5. If by peace you mean stoning to death for adultery.....sure.

  6. Or a myriad of other wrongs left up to the local ruling gentry... Yeah, absolutely.

    At least Xtianity grew out of the most dispicable of the OT laws... 'cept that whole gay thing of course - An abomination, I tells ya!

  7. "<span>There is no "true Muslim faith," nor any "authentic Islam.""</span>

    If you act on that premise, you'll get absolutely nowhere. As a Muslim (closet atheist), here's what I feel: Every single Muslim submits that the Quran is the *final and literal* revealed word of God. The ones who don't follow the Quran in every possible way (pretty much all Muslims) STILL BELIEVE that ideally they OUGHT to.

    That IS the key. I read the Quran and hated much in it. The only way to counter the ugliness in Islam and Muslims is to dismantle the Quran step by step and I am heartened to see many in the West doing just that.

    I think Douglas Murray did the best in this debate. Ayaan, even though she had solid points, did not assert them convincingly or with calm integrity of purpose: she seemed to be on the defensive and too focused on winning the *debate* as opposed to genuinly tackling issues on simple merit.

    For instance, nothing is more effective than the question of misogyny in the Quran. She could have nailed that one. Zeba does not cover her head. Ask her, why? Plain and simple. The Muslim woman who asked a question about this issue - pin her down on why SHE covers her head. Does she accept the tenet that social immorality stems from women not covering and not downplaying every aspect of their femininity, their sexuality? Pin them down on specific questions with straight references from the Quran.

    The Quran says CLEARLY that men are a degree superior to women. The liberal Muslims counter feebly that it is only because they "are the maintainers" of women and children. Ask them if women who earn more than their husbands are then superior to them. PIN THEM DOWN. Make them go into the shitty parts their whole lives seem to be focused on avoiding. Some will start to feel uncomfortable and that IS the way to change Muslim thought.

  8. ayan hirsa ali is such a bad speaker...couldn't they find someone better!

  9. English is HER SIXTH LANGUAGE. How eloquent are you in your second, presuming that you have one?

  10. actually i have 3- just because she has 6 doesn't prove that her spoken english is good enough for this kind of debate...take a chill pill -noob-

  11. Applestotle PentupCoastalDecember 16, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    This is was a great debate. A christian who became an atheist after reading the Koran???? You can't make that kinda stuff up can you? That's  a first! LMAO :-$ :)   

  12. Just a quick comment on what douglas kept repeating on and on, he said that there are 3 forms of Islam, Quran is bad, sharia is bad, but the only hope lies in the muslims of america and countries like it, but those Muslims that you're talking believe and practise the Quran and sharia, SO they're a result of the Cause (quran and shariia), and if you're saying that the result ie MUSLIMS are good, then the CAUSE ie Quran and sharia MUST be good. 

  13. Most Muslims living in the West, or even in their own countries, do NOT follow the Sharia and not even the Quran. They just have to come to terms with this fact. Easier said than done since Islam leaves no wiggle room in its definition of and demands of a Muslim.

  14. An illustration of this is interest. Quran specifically forbids it but an overwhelming majority of Muslims deal with banks and mortgages. Problem is, they feel that they ought to but ignore it in the name of practicality. All said and done, it takes a special kind of demented balls to go the whole nine yards but more and more *Moderate Muslims* will find those kind of balls when they see civilians being killed in their home countries in this War on Terror. Nothing like persecution (perceived or otherwise) for people to unite emotionally behind a common identity.

  15. I think most miss the point. If you're going to cherry pick what you like from ANY biblical source why bother calling yourself of that religion? More specifically, especially when there are requisite tenents which PRESRCIBE you to swallowing the entirety. You can't be a Christian, or Jew, or Muslim (etc.) and believe homosexuality is perfectly fine and then continue to call yourself a [aforementioned relevant religion/religious sect]. The moment you cherry pick all you confirm is that you apparently believe in a god(s) and that you enjoy certain qualities of said 'faith'. But how, then, is this any different than being an agnostic/atheist, yet removing god from the equation and making one's own decisions as to what morality is or is not, etc.? Also, this concept that because we are not literate in the 'original' language of said faith somehow we are misinterpreting it beyond repair is absurd, when comparing it with interpretations that have ONLY particular tenents. Notice that the question that was asked as to whether or not death for apostacy was to be performed (did the verse intend what was 'interpreted' by the translation, out of the dialect of arabic of the 'original' text, still hold true to any other 'interpretation'?) was not given a real chance to be answered? Of course it wasn't misinterpreted. Perhaps there are variations in particular words, but the concept behind the verse remains steadfast. What does it mean to be a 'moderate'? Simply that one is not a fundamental. And we all know that a fundamentalist is one who 'interprets' said bible literally; not that all verses are literally true, but that EVERYTHING inside said bible is the word of god, whether by proxy or by (which I disagree with) the 'inspired' word of said god. A moderate is simply one who CHERRY PICKS the pieces he/she can be comfortable with. But, again, for those (supposed majority) who are considered moderates cannot truly be of said faith because they do NOT accept ALL tenents of said bible. It's an absolute logical atrocity, yet these 'intelligent' religous people cannot seem to put that fallacy before their faith. Let's also disregard the obvious contradictions in EVERY single one of these bibles. Would anyone care to wager that the vast majority of any religion has little knowledge of history, let alone the history of religion(s)? Wouldn't that just spoil the 'surprise'?

  16. I had forgot to metion one very important part to my previous post. Perhaps this is a bit of speculation, but who would wager against me that people such as those in favor of the motion will use 'misinterpretation' as a basis for REDEFINING their religion and 'progressing'/'reforming' it so that it fits with (at the least, partially, at the most, almost completely) modern society and science? People such as
    Zakir Naik have already been doing this for quite some time. This IS just one of many (religious) memes in action. They WILL evolve through 'cunning' efforts of revision... if we let them. It's extremely difficult to imagine what religions, or derivations of past religions, we will see. I wish for none, but that is unrealistic unless we criticise EVERY aspect, continually, of religion that does not hold water (logically, morally, etc.).

    I am sometimes called neurotic. Am I, truly? Are we, truly? The harm and intent of religion speaks for itself, throughout history. It MUST end.

  17. Well said! I think I will take you up on the 'pin them down' tactic.
    Maajid Nawaz weaseled his way out of most questions. It seemed all he said was ' out of context, from the Quran, Shakespeare, to the U.S. constitution.

  18. no religion can with a clear conscience call itself a "religion of peace", the atrocities that have been perpetrated upon mankind in the name of religion is staggering and repulsive.

  19. <span>no religion can with a clear conscience call itself a "religion of peace", the atrocities that have been perpetrated upon mankind in the name of religion is staggering and repulsive.</span>

  20. sharia law is based on one "holy book", do not think for one second that it could not come from the followers of other "holy books".

  21. R£ligion $tink$ of mon€¥December 18, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    He always does.

  22. Shhhh...don't tell him he read the wrong book.

    We have one more in our camp, if we all agree to shut up.

  23. The fact is, most Muslims are barely following the religion.

    I was one, in my typical sized family of 6, only one prays 5 x a day.

    Others not much off, we go Friday to hook up with people we know, mostly.

    I'd estimate 80% of Muslims do not complete the 5 essential pillars.

    Belief isn't the problem, people cunningly compartmentalize things, they reserve irrationality for religion, but are perfectly rational in everything else.

    Of course some don't....and they stand out like a sore thumb, and become media bait.

    Those are who we see, almost all the time.

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