The video to the provocatively titled debate: ‘Has religion been mainly the cause of peace or violence?’, is now available online to watch.
The event took place on the 16th October 2018, hosted by the Politics and Debating society of the famous medical school, St George’s, University of London.
The Invited speakers were:
Abdullah al Andalusi, Muslim Debate Initiative
Alavari Jeevathol, Central London Humanists,
Sukhvinder Singh, Sikh Press Association
Rabbi Daniel L, Reform and Liberal Judaism
The debate featured a hotly contested debate on whether religion caused mostly, or mainly, peace or violence. The debate was an open panel debate, with no clear side. Abdullah al Andalusi argued that religion has mainly caused peace throughout human history, and any claim otherwise is either being selective, or conflating religion with other causes for conflict (present in the modern world, like nationalism, and secular cold-calculus politics). Sukhvinder Singh argued that there is no clear answer to the question, while the Atheist speaker, Alavari Jeevathol strong took the side that religion mainly causes violence (or at least, is unnecessary for the cause of peace). The Rabbi, of a Liberal Reformed Judaism leaning, critiqued “fundamentalist” readings of scriptures – including the Torah, and advocated secular liberalism as a better solution for peace, rather than literal readings of text (or following old traditions).
The mixed panel led to an exciting and stimulating back and forth, especially between the Atheist and Abdullah al Andalusi. A must watch video!
See the video of the full debate below: