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?