Sunday, November 25, 2007

Debate between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ed Husain

reposted from:
WASP comments are in bright green; highlights in blockquotes (yellow).

On 20th November, the Centre for Social Cohesion hosted an evening debate in Westminster between Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch MP and self-declared Muslim apostate, and Ed Husain, the author of the best-selling book The Islamist.

Debating ‘The West and the Future of Islam’, the two speakers began by making a short speech setting out their arguments before taking questions from the audience.

During the discussion, which lasted for over an hour and a half,

Ayaan Hirsi Ali argued that Islam “as a body of ideas” is opposed to ‘Enlightenment’ values.

She further said that

unless Muslims actively confronted and rejected verses from the Quran which are hostile to women’s rights and homosexuals and accept a total separation of Church and State, then conflict between Islam and the West was inevitable.

Ed Husain responded that Islam could be interpreted in numerous different ways and that it was incorrect to state definitively whether Islam was for or against the rights of women and others.

He argued that Muhammad had aimed to improve the rights of slaves and women and that it was the responsibility of modern Muslims to continue to strive against injustice, intolerance and inequality.

Among the two hundred attendees were Charles Moore, the former editor of The Daily Telegraph, Martin Ivens, the deputy-editor of The Sunday Times, Melanie Phillips, the columnist and writer, and Owen Patterson, the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

Andrew Anthony, the author of The Fallout: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence, and Nick Cohen, author of What’s Left: How the Liberals Lost Their Way also attended, along with Jemima Khan.

Among those present was Asim Siddiqui, the chairman of The City Circle. Also in the audience were several former members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, including Maajid Nawaz and Shiraz Maher.

Earlier in the day, the Centre also hosted an informal discussion between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Douglas Murray, the Centre’s director, at the House of Lords.

The Centre will post a video of the debate between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ed Husain on this website by next week.

1 comment:

  1. Ed has posted an article in the Guardian CiF claiming that Ayaan and her views support Bin Laden: