WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2010
ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE
About This Debate
For The Motion
- Zeba Khan FOR THE MOTIONZeba Khanis a writer and advocate for Muslim-American civic engagement. Born and raised in Ohio by devout Muslim parents, she attended Hebrew school for 9 years all while actively participating in her local Muslim community. In 2008, she launched Muslim-Americans for Obama, an online network to mobilize Muslim-American voters in support of the Obama presidential campaign. Since then, she continues to work on issues of Muslim-American civic engagement and was recognized for her work by the American Society for Muslim Advancement as a 2009 Muslim Leader of Tomorrow.
- Maajid Nawaz FOR THE MOTIONMaajid Nawazis director of the Quilliam Foundation. Formerly, Nawaz served on the UK national leadership for the Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), and was involved in HT for almost 14 years. He was a founding member of HT in Denmark and Pakistan and eventually served four years in an Egyptian prison as a "prisoner of conscience" adopted by Amnesty International. In prison, Maajid gradually began changing his views until finally renouncing the Islamist Ideology for traditional Islam and inclusive politics.
Against The Motion
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali AGAINST THE MOTIONAyaan Hirsi Aliwas born in Somalia and raised a devout Muslim. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament for 3 years. She has since become an active critic of fundamentalist Islam, an advocate for women's rights and a leader in the campaign to reform Islam, establishing the AHA Foundation in 2007
- Douglas Murray AGAINST THE MOTIONDouglas Murrayis a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. He is also founder and director of the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), a non-partisan think-tank in Westminster, London, which focuses on radicalization and has published work on both Islamist and far-right extremism.
John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News Nightline. He has served as ABC White House Correspondent, along with postings in Moscow, London, Jerusalem and Amman.
Pre-Debate Poll Results
41%For | 25% Against | 34%
Post Debate Poll Results
36% For | 55% Against | 9%
- There are many verses in the Koran that promote peace and tolerance.
- Today's radical ideology is closer to fascism than true Islam.
- The majority of Muslims do not support extremism, and painting Islam as a religion of war will only empower the radicals.
- Islam prohibits violence, especially the killing of innocent people.
- There are many verses in the Koran that promote violence and killing.
- Islam is intolerant toward non-believers—the Koran implies and Hadith clearly state that apostasy is punishable by death.
- Islam is incompatible with modernity, relying on fixed readings of religious texts from over 1,000 years ago.