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Debates

Islam Is A Religion Of Peace

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  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam

    Clip: Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues against the motion "Islam Is a Religion of Peace."

  • Zeba Khan on Islam

    Clip: Zeba Khan argues for the motion "Islam Is a Religion of Peace."

  • Douglas Murray on Islam

    Clip: Douglas Murray argues against the motion "Islam Is a Religion of Peace."

  • Maajid Nawaz on Islam

    Clip: Maajid Nawaz argues for the motion "Islam Is a Religion of Peace."

Debate Details

Is the rise of terrorism and violence justifiably traced to the teachings of Islam, or is this call to war a twisted interpretation of the true Muslim faith? Most of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are moderates who see Islamic terrorism as a violation of their sacred texts. Is it wrong to let a radical minority represent authentic Islam? Has fear blinded us to its lessons of tolerance and peace?

The Debaters

For the motion

Zeba Khan

Writer and advocate for Muslim-American civic engagement

is a writer and advocate for Muslim-American civic engagement. Born and raised in Ohio by devout Muslim parents, she attended Hebrew school for 9... Read More

Maajid Nawaz

Director, Quilliam Foundation

is director of the Quilliam Foundation. Formerly, Nawaz served on the UK national leadership for the Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), and was involved... Read More

Against the motion

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Founder, AHA Foundation

was born in Somalia and raised a devout Muslim. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member... Read More

Douglas Murray

Founder & Director, The Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC)

is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. He is also founder and director of the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), a non-partisan think-tank... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • There are over a billion Muslims in the world, and the great majority of them are peaceful, moderate practitioners of mainstream Islam.
  • The Muslims who have succumbed to violence are motivated by politics, not religion.
  • The word “jihad” has different meanings. It can be translated to “holy war,” but its primary meaning is “struggle,” and in the Koran, this refers to the internal and external effort to be a good Muslim.
Against The Motion
  • No monotheistic religion is a religion of peace—they know lengthy periods of peace, but they also know lengthy periods of war. The militaristic history of Islam is well documented.
  • In 21st Century Islam, there are more occurrences of violence and war and subjection of women than there are in other religions.
  • The leaders of Islam, the heads of religion in Saudi Arabia and Iran, are the ones speaking for the religion, not Islam’s moderates.  

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The Research

The Research

Terrorism is at Odds with Islamic Tradition

Khaled Abou El Fadl
August 22, 2001

A Selection of Texts on Interreligious Relations from The Generous Qur'an

Muslim Peace Fellowship
December 31, 1969

The West and the Future of Islam: A Debate between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ed Husain

Centre for Social Cohesion
November 20, 2007
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