Muslims and non-Muslims who attend debate events or watch the media, commonly hear the ignorant cliche “It’s great that we [in the West] here can have such debates”, or “It’s a shame debates don’t happen in the Muslim world” or my own personal ‘favourite’: “Well, at least we can have debates like these here – you wouldn’t get this in the Muslim world”.
But these comments only betray crass ignorance and Occidental bigotry, since anyone who bothers to actually do an internet search, can see many debates happen all over the Muslim world, both at conferences, and on TV channels. We’d like to offer the following links to debate videos which are available on the internet, as proof of the variety of interesting and topical debates occurring in the Muslim world.
It should be pointed out, that the only places where religious debates are stifled, are countries where all debate is stifled. These regimes are invariably Secular in nature, and we hope the Islamic Awakening around the Muslim world will change that state of affairs, and allow intellectual life to once again flourish as it did during the classical times of Islam.
One of the most famous institutions for debate in the Muslim world is called ‘The Doha Debates’ (website can be found here) held in Bahrain. They are famous for controversial topics and debates, including “This House believes women are superior to men ” (2010), and “This House deplores the release of the Lockerbie bomber to Libya” (2009) and “This House believes the world is better off with Wikileaks” (2011).
Particularly, the Doha Debates held a controversial debate which challenged the very government of the country it was held in: “This House has no confidence in Bahrain’s promise to reform” held on 12 December 2011 led to an end vote that resulted in a victory for the anti-government motion!
Interfaith Debate between Jews and Muslims
Doha, United Arab Emirates, Filmed by Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar)
Who is Jesus Christ? In the light of the Bible and the Qur’an
The University of Wollongong, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 20th February 2007
Who is God and How are We Saved?
University of Wollongong, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2nd March 2009
How Can We Find Forgiveness from a Holy God?
University of Wollongong, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 6th March 2011
Was Jesus Crucified? (Urdu)
Lahore, Pakistan. On November 25th – 27th, 2011
Muslim Sheikh debates a Scholar of the Qadiyani religion on Palestine TV
Categories: Responses to anti-Islamic Polemics