Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is Islam Dominated By Radicals?

This is the motion ('Islam Is Dominated By Radicals') that was the subject of a fascinating live debate conducted by NPR as part of its Intelligence Squared series funded by the RosenKranz Foundation on April 15th , 2008.

The proposition was argued in strict debate format, three panelists on each side for and against, with strict time limits and and moderated opening statements, cross examinations and time limited closing statements for each panelist.

Makes you wish the presidential debates were handled this well!

Not only was the debate exceptionally well moderated and conducted in a fair and balanced fashion, by Robert Siegel of All Things Considered, but the panelists themselves were knowledgeable, articulate and well known:


Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Vice President of the Foundation for The Defense of Democracies, a man who converted to Islam, put in time raising funds for jihad with the radical Saudi funded al-Haramain 'charity' and then left Islam and wrote an amazing book called "My Year Inside Radical Islam" as well as a number of illuminating articles, some of which have been linked to on this site.

Paul Marshall, a Senior fellow in the Center For The Study of Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute.

Asra Nomani, a noted Muslim feminist, a professor of journalism at Georgetown University, and a former reporter with the Wall Street Journal.She was a friend and colleague of the late Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan and was one of the last people to see him alive.


Reza Aslan, an assistant professor at the University of California at Riverside, a fellow at the USC Center For Public Diplomacy.He's the author of several books on the subject of Islam, and one of the Middle East analysts for CBS news.

Richard Bulliet, a professor of Middle East history at Columbia University ( with all that implies), and one of the professors who was instrumental in inviting Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Columbia.

Edina Lekovic, Director of Communications and a well-known spokesperson for the Muslim Public Affairs Council

Prior to the debate, the moderator Robert Siegel had the spectators vote on whether they agreed with the motion. 46% of the audience agreed that Islam was dominated by radicals, 32% disagreed, and 22% were undecided.

After the debate the same audience changed radically, with 73% agreeing that Islam was dominated by radicals, 23% disagreeing and only 4% remained undecided.

To find out why, click on the 'debate' link above for the full transcript. Fascinating stuff.


Anonymous said...

this is of course an off-topic comment.
i was busy yesterday with what seems to be an eternal woodworking project.
anyway, i was not able to see all of the yankee stadium festivities yesterday. just some of them.
so ff if you can give me a ballpark, no pun, figure of how many times the pope said "death to america" i would appreciate it. i would also like to know if he called for the annihilation of the state of israel during the homily or during the "prayers of the faithful".

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Louie,
Let's be fair here..Pope Benedict is forced by circumstances to straddle a number of fences.

Among other things, keep in mind that certain countries have minority Catholic populations in what amounts to hostage situations, and sacred and valuble Church property as well.

Can you imagine how little it would take for the Palestinians, for example, to burn down the Church of the Holy Sepelchure 'anonymously'? They came close to doing it before, when Palestinian gunmen took over the Church, and the only reason they didn't was because a huge sum of money was paid to Arafat, as the IDF discovered when they raided Arafat's HQ at the Muqata and found the related documents.

I can tell you also that Benedict is no foe of Israel, or of the Jews.

And he has spoken out bravely on jihad, given the constraints he works under.

I consider him a very brave man in a difficult position, who is trying to revive the Church as the West's spiritual armor, particularly in Europe.

Cut him some slack..OK?

All Best,

Anonymous said...

uh, well, while i agree with your comment, the intent of my comment was to draw a contrast between what we hear on a regular basis from imams around the world / mid-east so-called leaders of so-called nations, and the message that this man brings.