Islam Is A Religion Of Peace

Next Debate Previous Debate
Islam

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

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?

  • For the motion

    For

    Zeba Kahn

    Writer and advocate for Muslim-American civic engagement

  • For the motion

    For

    Maajid Nawaz

    Director of the Quilliam Foundation

  • Against the Motion

    Against

    Douglas Murray

    Founder and Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    Founder, A.H.A. Foundation

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

More about the Panelists
See Results See Full Debate Video Purchase DVD Read Transcript
Listen to the edited radio broadcast

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to the unedited radio broadcast

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Subscribe to the Podcast
Kahn

For The Motion

Zeba Kahn

Writer and advocate for Muslim-American civic engagement

is 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.

Learn more
Maajid Nawaz

For The Motion

Maajid Nawaz

Director of the Quilliam Foundation

is 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.

Learn more
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Against The Motion

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Founder, A.H.A. Foundation

was 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.

Learn more
Murray

Against The Motion

Douglas Murray

Founder and Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion

is 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.

Learn more

Declared Winner: Against The Motion

Online Voting

About This Event

Event Photos

PrevNext Arrows
    PrevNext Arrows

    27 comments

    0|-
    • Comment Link Joe Saturday, 23 May 2015 12:16 posted by Joe

      49:00 is there a third debater we didn't know about? Three vs. two?


      Please moderator. Let the debate continue. Don't silence.

    • Comment Link Joe Saturday, 23 May 2015 11:00 posted by Joe

      10:50 Twist our faith? I don't think she is being truthful/ernest. I can't reconcile that statement after watching this scolar in the following video read actual passages from the Koran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn2P2DjbrFc

      Please be earnest and post this comment above. Share knowledge, don't hide it.

    • Comment Link Brian Wednesday, 14 January 2015 16:18 posted by Brian

      Many religions contain both good and bad people.

      For example, the Crusades had millions of Christians and Muslims murdering each other in the name of their gods! Does that make either God, Jesus or Allan bad. No - I don't think so.

      Most of the world's religions were created as peaceful! However, men and women have twisted the religious messages, and oftentimes caused harm to one another in the form of intolerance and destructive behaviors.

      We all need to do a better job ob practicing the Golden Rule- do onto others, as we would want them to do onto us!

    • Comment Link Chuck Monday, 12 January 2015 17:21 posted by Chuck

      Any God that asks you to kill in his name is a weak and powerless god. My God is all powerful and strong. He does not ask anyone to kill in his name. That right is reserved to god alone.

      Any Prophet that demands that you harm or kill those that you perceive to have insulted him is an insecure, weak false prophet. The mission of of Prophets of God is to bring souls into the fullness of the love of God.

      Any Religion that requires those that leave it be killed is a weak religion, not worthy of consideration.

    • Comment Link Michael Q. Rudnin Friday, 26 December 2014 01:55 posted by Michael Q. Rudnin

      If a religion has violent passages in its dogma, it is not a religion of peace. Shall I quote a dozen passages from the Koran which are violent in nature, which are read like directives for hostility, as well as a slap in the face of modern secular morality?

    • Comment Link Darren Friday, 26 December 2014 00:16 posted by Darren

      add the undecided to those not in favour and you'll have a better idea of what people really feel.

    • Comment Link Kevin Friday, 21 November 2014 16:37 posted by Kevin

      This was probably the worst debate. Ali and Nawaz would not stop talking over others, Ali being the worse offender. Occasionally stepping on each other's heels is reasonable especially on such a sensitive topic but these two were so unprofessional it was hard to listen to them.

    • Comment Link Subh Monday, 13 October 2014 21:41 posted by Subh

      My exact point of view in this respect... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-a-rizvi/an-open-letter-to-moderat_b_5930764.html

    • Comment Link zuma Friday, 19 September 2014 21:12 posted by zuma

      Jihadists, i.e. ISIS, have abused the phrase, turn them out from where they have turned you out, in Quran 2:191 (Moshin Khan translation) to be turn all countries out where they have turned Muslims out from Muslim state in the past. Or in other words, ISIS have the intention to conquer all countries, i.e. Russia, Iran, Portuguese, Turkey, Arab and etc., so as to restore Islamic state.

      Their false teaching has contradicted the Hadith verses below:

      (Book #44, Hadith #675)-Sahih Bukhari:
      Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: The Prophet established the right of Shu'fa (i.e. Pre-emption) in joint properties; but when the land is divided and the ways are demarcated, then there is no pre-emption.

      As the phrase, the land is divided and the ways are demarcated, is mentioned above with the phrase, no pre-emption, it implies that Muslims do not have the right of pre-emption over Muslim state since the land has been divided and demarcated. Or in other words, Muslim state has been gone many years ago.

      The same is mentioned in the Book #44, Hadith #676-Sahih Bukhari:
      Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "The right of pre-emption is valid in every joint property, but when the land is divided and the way is demarcated, then there is no right of pre-emption."

      Another false teaching from jihadists, i.e. ISIS, is they want to destroy all non-Muslim countries due to their teaching contradicts the teaching of Quran.

      ( سورة التوبة , At-Taubah, Chapter #9, Verse #1)-Moshin Khan translation:
      Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to those of the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), with whom you made a treaty.

      The word, obligations…from Allah, as mentioned here could be non-Muslims have to believe in Allah; they have to abide in Muslim laws; and etc. The phrase, Freedom from (all) obligation…from Allah, implies the freedom not to follow all the obligations from Allah. As the phrase, Freedom from (all) obligations, is mentioned here with the word, polytheists, it implies that this freedom for not complying all the obligations from Allah is given to non-Muslims. As the phrase, whom you made a treaty, is mentioned here, it implies that all the obligations from Allah, such as, obeying Muslim laws, are not applicable to non-Muslims as long as there is a treaty.

      Quran 9:1-Picktal translation:
      Freedom from obligation (is proclaimed) from Allah and His messenger toward those of the idolaters with whom ye made a treaty.

      As the phrase, Freedom from obligation…from Allah, is mentioned above with the word, idolaters with whom ye made a treaty, it implies that non-Muslims have the freedom not to follow the obligation from Allah when they is a treaty.

      Quran 9:1-Shakir translation:
      (This is a declaration of) immunity by Allah and His Apostle towards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement.

      The word, immunity, is defined in the dictionary to be exemption from obligation, service duty, or liability to taxation, jurisdiction, etc. Thus, the phrase, immunity of Allah, should be interpreted as exemption of the obligation from Allah. Or in other words, special right given not to follow Allah’s obligation, such as, obeying Muslim laws; believing in Allah, and etc. As the phrase, immunity by Allah, is mentioned here with the phrase, those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, it implies that non-Muslims have the exemption from obeying Allah’s obligation, such as, obeying Muslim laws, when there is agreement of peace treaty.

      Quran 9:1-Yusuf Ali translation:
      A (declaration) of immunity from Allah and His Messenger, to those of the Pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances:-

      AS the phrase, immunity from Allah, is mentioned with the phrase, those of the Pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances, it implies that non-Muslims have the right of exemption for not obeying Muslim laws when there is contracted mutual alliances.

      Thus, how could jihadists, i.e. ISIS, accuse the laws from non-Muslims and want to turn them down with the hope of conquering them without realizing the special exemption from non-Muslims have been granted in Quran?

    • Comment Link Tom Evans Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:52 posted by Tom Evans

      "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every finger tip of them"

      No matter the context, war, over tea, the fact that the so called prophet said those words and even command such violence is clear evidence that violence is promoted. To deny that violence is not part of Islam is like saying that oxygen is not part of the atmosphere.

      Its violent, and that is why blood shed fills every Muslim land. It was founded on violence and conquest....

    • Comment Link Steve Monday, 01 September 2014 01:03 posted by Steve

      Most Muslims believe Islam is a religion of peace because if they don't, they'll be killed by other Muslims.

    • Comment Link Samba Saturday, 30 August 2014 05:01 posted by Samba

      Very interesting. There is a new approach about Islam: http://www.salammundial.com

    • Comment Link Raz D Friday, 15 August 2014 06:29 posted by Raz D

      Islamists often point out that out of 1.6billion Muslims only a small minority are violent. This is true. The vast majority of Muslims live normal family lives, they have jobs, they are occupied by the routine, like most people living in societies across the world. This is just normal human behaviour. There are very few people who are sufficiently motivated to take up violent struggle to defend Islam on a full time basis. This does not mean that the majority non- violent Muslims don't identify with the cause. They may even denounce the violent ones as part of a extremist fringe. However, a "pious" Muslim given sufficient provocation, say ....a cartoon of the prophet, defilement of the Quran, or any one of hundreds of blasphemous or insulting acts to islam will condone if not perpetrate violence himself. He will shrug of barbaric acts of savagery by stating that the victim brought on the violence or "asked for it" by inciting the passions of the devout Muslim.
      Today there is wide spread condemnation of Israel but where is the anger and protests against the horrendous atrocities by ISIS. The Muslim voices denouncing ISIS are usually Shia or other non Sunni ones, the ones at the receiving end. Does any one doubt what Hamas would do if they possessed a WMD? Would they hesitate to nuke Israel?

    • Comment Link Tony Saturday, 09 August 2014 14:56 posted by Tony

      One of the questions was basically:

      "Why is there more suicide bombers in Muslim than other religions."

      The answer given scares me.

      The answer was that there is no religious or pious difference between the suicide bombers and peaceful Muslims, the difference is that the suicide bombers feared the domination of the West.

      If that is truly what the panelist believes, and there is no difference between the religions of the bombers and the peaceful, then we are sitting on 1.5 Billion Muslims that are 1 intense fear away from blowing themselves and other up.

    • Comment Link Robert Smoot Monday, 28 July 2014 15:36 posted by Robert Smoot

      I agree with Bill Howard's comment completely. Both sides debate well but the pro Islam side seems to think that the radical side of Islam is only a small minority. Everyday there is news of violence by Muslims on people that just question their prophet. Other religions that have had violent history"s have moved on where as Islam has not.

    • Comment Link Chase Wilson Wednesday, 14 May 2014 22:43 posted by Chase Wilson

      Just discovered intelligence squared debates and I'm finding that every debate seems to come down to people who refuse to acknowledge reality/ Twist words to mean what they prefer them to mean, and those that basically state some facts and let them speak for themselves

    • Comment Link LouRich Sunday, 11 May 2014 02:57 posted by LouRich

      posted by shumaila: "Islam is not a religion of violence, it's a religion of peace, but i will say the real peace and no other religion can be so peaceful as Islam. Just read the Quran and Hadith fully, then arrange a debate over it. 100% sure all will be in the same conclusion that Islam is the religion of love and peace."
      So your definition of Peace, is being Muslim. That is the limited use of the word that enables you to keep saying Islam is a religion of peace. As long as there is another religion besides Islam, then there is no peace, according to you. If everyone was Muslim, then peace would reign. Of course, that is a fantasy, because when Muslims have dominated every other religion, then they will turn on each other, until every last one is gone. Islam is a religion of death, not peace.

    • Comment Link Dr. R. Linkletter Monday, 14 October 2013 00:00 posted by Dr. R. Linkletter

      Prominent Western Muslim moderates tell us how all interpretations of Islam are 'legitimate', even refusing to denounce interpretations like that of the late Osama Bin Laden. So it isn't a question of whose Islam we should acknowledge between the Muslim terrorist and the Muslim moderate, as both are contained within the larger framework of Islam.
      And yet we continue to cloud the debate with this question while dozens of innocents die every day in the name of Islam and the entire cultural identities of Europe and Scandinavia become irrecoverably lost to the world.

    • Comment Link shumaila Saturday, 21 September 2013 15:21 posted by shumaila

      Islam is not a religion of violence, it's a religion of peace, but i will say the real peace and no other religion can be so peaceful as Islam.
      Just read the Quran and Hadith fully, then arrange a debate over it. 100% sure all will be in the same conclusion that Islam is the religion of love and peace.

    • Comment Link Eve Friday, 12 July 2013 16:06 posted by Eve

      I have been privately researching on Islam, its doctrines, historical development and current status around the world. After listening to this debate, I say for sure that Islam is NOT a religion of peace.

    Leave a comment

    Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.