Video: Oxford Union Debate “Islam Is A Peaceful Religion”


The motion “Islam Is A Peaceful Religion” was moved at the Oxford Union Society the day after Lee Rigby was brutally murdered in Woolwich. It has only this month been uploaded to Youtube.

    Matthew Handley opens case for the motion:
    Anne-Marie Waters opens case for opposition:
    Adam Deen responds for the motion:
    Daniel Johnston counters the motion:
    Mehdi Hasan for the motion:
    Peter Atkins concludes debate against the motion:


    My posts that are relevant to the above debate:

Dehumanising by Islam and cherry picking of verses by extreme Islamists

A theological alternative view to change attitudes to apostasy where it is illegal can be read here, based on my discussions with Sam Harris and Quilliam Foundation.

The motion passed 286/168.

UPDATE: Write up of the debate and video of Hitchens V Ramadan on same motion can be found here.

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78


Filed under Religion

10 responses to “Video: Oxford Union Debate “Islam Is A Peaceful Religion”

  1. anexerciseinthought

    Mehdi Hasan can hardly be called an intellectual. That guy is absurd. Seen his talk with Dawkins? Sigh…

    • Yes posted the video of the talk on the blog in December last year:

      You may appreciate this post where I criticise Mehdi Hasan’s confession of homophobia:

    • Ray

      Yup. Hasan threw out fact after fact after fact and Dawkins expressed personal opinion. I think he lost the fight the second he said

      “I don’t know much about Islam”

      When reading about things like this its best to not be emotional. Read it with an open mind and with logic.

      • someone

        All of his “facts” involved historical criticisms of other religions (the crusades, Naziism = Christianity??) as a diversion from an honest look at Islam currently. While it is true that scientists, philosophers, artists, architects, and mathematicians living in the Islamic world centuries ago made important advances in their fields many centuries ago, those advances halted because of Islam itself. Please name a research university, manufacturer, or tech company in the Islamic world that anyone gives a darn about? Please list a good number of advances in all of those fields attributable to anyone anywhere in the Islamic world (that is, while living in an Islamic country) in the last 100 years? Strangely, he does not mention any, as Islam has largely chocked off all such progress.

        As you say, you need to actually look at each of his “facts” and if you are honest they are lacking.

    • someone

      What is even worse is the outcome of the vote after this debate. Makes me wonder about the quality of education at Oxford. Critical thinking????

  2. It has been pointed out to me that the picture I had below with cherry picked quotes may have depicted the Prophet Mohammed.

    That does not bother me, but given the nature of the debate above where I doubt the opposition would have reproduced knowingly a picture of the prophet to prove a point on free speech and Islam, I have changed the picture.

    Because I would like Muslims to view the post too.

    I intend to post the picture in a separate post after Wimbledon final.

  3. Pingback: Free Speech and Islam | Homo economicus' Weblog

  4. Sajid Wahab

    Total cherry picking from Quran.
    e.g; I just verified the 2 Verses from Quran (in the posted Image) & here are the Actual translation.
    Quran (9:3-7): (3) And [it is] an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is disassociated from the disbelievers, and [so is] His Messenger. So if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away – then know that you will not cause failure to Allah . And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment.
    (4) Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].
    (5) And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
    (6) And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah . Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.
    (7) How can there be for the polytheists a treaty in the sight of Allah and with His Messenger, except for those with whom you made a treaty at al-Masjid al-Haram? So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].
    ———— So Cutting the Context would lead to what they want them to believe in ———————————
    Quran(4:34) Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.
    ———–Why didn’t they post the entire Verse? just to cut the reference/context and spread disinformation———
    Check the others yourselves… but truly cherry picking and an act to apply mentality of less than 1% of Muslims to the rest of 99%.. SHAMEFUL.. These 99% will stand with U against these brutal Humans (less than 1% of VIOLENT Terrorist) who call themselves Muslims, I believe they (these violent Terrorists calling themselves Muslims) are not even Humans….

    • Bear in mind I’m using the images to contrast two distinct views of Islam – and I link to posts about how extremists, atheists and moderates cherry pick in making their points.

    • someone

      What have your fictional “99%” of Muslims done in the Middle East to fight the Islamists? In Afghanistan? In Pakistan? Iran? Anywhere else??? Our idiotic media in the west go along with the popular revolutions turned Islamist power grab, still calling it the “Arab Spring”? Where are this “99%”?? Talk about cherry picking…. You can babble on about the texts, all the world cares about is the over all influence of Islam.

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