Michael Nugent, head of Atheist Ireland, a leading Atheist and Humanist campaign organisation in Ireland, has published an article refuting Andrew Gilligan’s spurious slanders from ‘anonymous sources’ and slanted reporting of Abdullah al Andalusi’s views. Michael has previously debated Abdullah twice in Ireland, and was invited by MDI to a debate in the UK in 2012.
Abdullah al Andalusi commented to MDI:
‘Michael Nugent, head of Atheist Ireland, has shown amazing sincerity and objectivity, and kindly written a refutation of journalist Andrew Gilligan’s grievous misrepresentation of my views. I’d like to thank Michael truly. I have debated him twice, and found him to be a respectful, down-to-earth and intellectually stimulating debate opponent. We strongly disagree on many theological positions, and hopefully will continue to engage each other in debate and discussion that will refine both our ideas, and raise understanding in wider society.
I note the irony however, that while Gilligan was reporting unsubstantiated slander against me from disgruntled ‘ex-colleagues’, a debate opponent who disagrees with my theology, honourably came to my defence because he knows my real (and consistently professed) opinions. Of course, having known Michael personally and the caliber of his approach to both his personal friends and professional work, I’m touched and not surprised that he took the time to defend someone despite disagreeing with them. It is people like him that make debating such a pleasure and joy for me, I wish there were more like him. People interested about the ideas, not mud slinging. I ask Allah (swt) to guide him, myself and all of us to be sincere, objective and kind in all areas of lives. Ameen’.