Muslims Lose Debate on Islam Being a Religion of Peace (Intelligence Squared)

Posted on December 10, 2010 by

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On October 6, 2010, Intelligence Squared Debates held a debate on the motion “Islam is a religion of peace” featuring Zeba Khan and Majid Nawaz for the motion and Ayan Hirsi Ali and Douglas Murray against the motion.

The formal question was posed as follows:

“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?”

It seems that the two Muslims in favor of the motion didn’t do a good job because the number of people who disagreed that Islam is a religion of peace greatly increased by the end of the debate:

Pre-Debate Poll Results
41%For | 25% Against | 34%

Post Debate Poll Results
36% For | 55% Against | 9%

The video for the debate can be found below.

Feel free to comment on the following:

  • What were the strengths of Zeba and Majid’s arguments?
  • What were their weaknesses?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • What opportunities do you think these sorts of threats provide?
  • What would you watch out for in the next debate?
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