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Islam Is A Peaceful Religion: Mehdi Hasan in an Oxford Union Debate following the murder of a British Soldier by an Islamist fanatic in Woolwich

 

By Mehdi Hasan: In an Oxford Union Debate following the murder of British Soldier by an Islamist fanatic in Woolwich.

Full Transcript.

Thank you very much mister President, Ladies and gentleman, good evening, Assalmoalikum, lovely to see you all here tonight. We are having a very entertaining night, are we not? With some very interesting things being said from the other side of the house tonight. let me begin by saying as a Muslim, as a representative of Islam, I would consider myself an ambassador for Islam, as a believer in Islam, a follower of Islam and its prophets, so in that capacity let me begin by apologizing to armory for the Bali bombings, apologize for the role of my religion, me and my people for the killing of fear and go off the seven yes. That was all of us that was Islam, That was Muslim, that was the Quran, I mean astonishing, astonishing claims to make in the very first speech on a day light today, whether conservative prime minister of United Kingdom and the come out  and point out that these kind of these are not from and I believe you're trying to stand for the labor party M.P. Election in Briton, if you do that and you make these comments, I’m guessing you have the wit withdrawn from you but then again you keep on the rise. They'll take heed the BNP they might have something to say about your views. A lot of factual points as we had a lot of our second speak about that could be Muslims.

On a factual point you said the Islam was born in Saudi Arabia. Islam was born in six ten AD, Saudi Arabia was born in nineteen thirty two AD, only One Thousand Three Hundred Twenty Two Years off.  Not bad, talking of Math’s by the way, a man called Al-Qawarizmi , one of the  greatest of all time mathematician was Muslim, worked in the golden age Islam. He's the guy who came up with not just Algebra but Algorithms, without Algorithm we won’t have laptops, without laptops Daniel Johnson cannot print out a speech in which he came to break us Muslims holding back the advanced an intellectual achievements of the west, which will happen without any contribution from anyone else other than the Judeo-Christian peoples of Europe.

In fact Daniel David Levering the author of the Pulitzer prize winning historian and author of the Golden Prism of Winter, that there would be no Renaissance in Europe, there would be no reaffirmation in Europe without the role played by Ibn e Sina, Ibn e Rushd, some of the great Muslim theologian, philosopher, scientist in bringing this knowledge to Europe.

As for this being our university I will leave that to the imagination as to who is our new is that our study here too.

Astonishing, astonishing set of speeches so for making this case tonight and mixture of just cherry picked quotes facts and figures self-serving selective a far goers, distortions misrepresentations, misinterpretations,  miss quotations, ... Daniel talked about my article in the state from which will be a lot of flak great talked about the anti-Semitism that is prevalent in some parts of the Muslim community, which indeed it is. Of course I didn't say in that piece, that was imposed by the religion of Islam in fact  more than anti Semitism in the middle east was imported from finish the sentence…. Christian Judeo-Christian Europe where I believe some certainly bad things happen to the Jewish people.  In fact tom Friedman Jewish-American Columnist New York Times told me in the French chamber in the last week, where he believed Muslims have mostly been running Europe in the nineteen forties. Six million extra Jews would still be alive today from the political lessons an anti Semitism from someone who's here to defend the Judeo-Christian values on the continent of murder six million Jews.

Moving swiftly on, moving swiftly on yes exactly that’s what the point, I agree with you one hundred ten percent that is my point. I don't think Europe is evil or bad, I am a very proud European. I don't want to judge over this, but if we're goanna play this dealt a game well we pull out the Bali bombing and we pull out examples of anti Semitism Simon let's go to come back and say will hold on, I mean look let's be very clear Daniel here was a last minute replaced with the Douglas Murray who have to pull out and Douglas and I have a well-documented difference is that the defense Douglas as to be sent and Marie, Peter atheist. All religions as evil, violent, threatening.

What the problem I have with Daniel speech is a Daniel comes here to Robust defense of Christianity forgetting his fellow Christians people who said they were acting the name of Jesus, gave us the crusades, the Spanish inquisition, the anti Jewish pogrom, European colonialism in Africa and Asia, The Lord's resistance army in Uganda, not to mention countless arson and the bomb attacks on abortion clinics in the United States of America to this very day. I would like a little bit of humility from Daniel first before you begin lecturing other communities of how the faith on violence terror and intolerance.

But I would say yes to address the gentleman's very valid point here I’m not gonna play that game. I don't actually believe that Christianity is a religion of violence and hate because of what the NRA doesn't Uganda all what MBA what crusaders did to Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem in the tip of the city in the form from Thirteenth one of the century was. I believe the Christianity like Islam like pretty much every mainstream religion is based on love and compassion and faith. I do follow a religion in which hundreds thirteen out of a hundred and fourteen chapters of the Quran begins by introduced in the god of Islam as a god of mercy and compassion. I would not have the any other way. I don't follow a religion which introduces my God to me as a god of war, a some kind of Greek god of wrath, as a god of hate, and injustice, not at all.

As Adam pointed out that you go through the Quran, you see the mercy, love and the justice and yes you have the verses of, to refer warfare and violence of course it does. This is non motion about passivism; I’m not here to argue that Islam is a pacifistic faith. It is not. Islam allows military action, violence in certain limited context and yes the minority of Muslims do take it out of that context, but is it religious?

We talked about which Daniel in Ann Maria suggested that is definitely religion that's behind all of this well actually. What I find so amusing tonight in the debate on Islam and the opposition tonight have come forward we have a graduate and Law graduate, in modern history graduate, in chemistry. Do you know and my role of the intellect in their abilities but we don't have anyone is actually an expert on Islam, a scholar of Islamic historian of Islam, a speaker of the Arabic even a terrorism expert, security expert or a pollster let alone to talk about what Muslims believe all think instead we have people coming here putting forward these sweeping opinions listen to professor Robert pape, professor at the university of Chicago one of America’s leading terrorism experts go on like our esteemed opposition tonight study every single case of suicide terrorism between nineteen eighty in two thousand five.  Three hundred and fifteen cases in total and he concluded and I quote,

“there is little connection between suicide terrorism in Islamic fundamentalism or any of the world's religions, rather nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory but the terrorist consider to be their homeland,”  and the irony is when we talk about terrorism, the irony is that the opposition and the Muslim terrorist al-Qaeda types actually have one thing in common because they both believe that Islam is a war-like violent  religion, but I will not they have everything in common. Osma Bin Laden will be …….. along He agrees with them. The Problems is that mainstream Muslims don’t, the majority of the Muslims around the world don’t, and in fact the gentleman quoted the poll Gallup carried out the biggest poll of Muslims around the world. Fifty thousand Muslims in thirty five countries ninety three percent of Muslims rejected nine eleven in suicide attacks and the seven percent who didn’t that they all went polled and focus groups sited political reasons for their support for violence not religious reasons. And as for Islamic scholars mostly say, well Daniel talks about our university of oxford will go down to Oxford centre for Islamic Studies.

Get hold of a man Sheikh Afify Al-Akiti who is massively well credentials and most respected Islamic scholar who studied across the world, who in the days after seven seven published the fatwa denouncing terrorism in the name of Islam, calling for the protection of all non-combatants at all times and describing suicide bombings as an innovation with no basis in Islamic law. Go and listen to Sheikh Tahirul Qadri, one of Pakistan’s most famous Islamic scholars who published a six hundred page fatwa condemning the killing of all innocent and all suicide bombing unconditionally without any ifs and buts. There's nothing new here this is mainstream Islam, mainstream scholarship, which is said this for years and you don't go on kill people willingly in the high street or anywhere else on a bus or a mall based on verses of the Quran, you cherry pick without any context, any understanding any interpretation or any commentary.

I didn't say it doesn't happen at all ... I don't …….I don't blame this on Islam, that’s a very good point and a lot of us a lot of us campaign against it, campaigning against in the name of Islam, campaigning against various interpretation of Islam. Armory came with the scales of the talk of Sharia law. I would like to see the book of Sharia law. It doesn't exist; people argue what Shria law is? And you empower the extremists by saying that there is only one version.

Here we are dealing with a fourteen hundred year old global religion followed by one point six billion people in every corner of the world a quarter of humanity of all backgrounds cultures ethnicities and yet the opposition wants to generalized, stereotype, smear in order to desperately win this debate and here's my question for the generalized and smear, if ok people say yesterday's bomber that we've to be careful, the trial going on well yesterday attacker a sorry motivated by Islam, big debate, I do not believe that, let say they were, let's say Faisal Shahzad  the times square bomber was motivated by Islam, let’s assume for the sake of arguments... that Richard Reeves the shoe bomber. Is Islam is responsible for this. Is Islam is motivating these people, and therefore Islam is not a religion of peace but of a war, and then ask yourself this question, what rest of us is doing? Why it is such a tiny minority of Muslims are interpreting their religion in the way that the opposition claim they are.

Let's assume they're sixteen thousand of suicide bombers in the world, they are not? Let's assume there are for the sake of argument that zero point zero one percent of the Muslims population globally, what about the other ninety-nine point nine percent of Muslims who the opposition tonight ignore or smear.

The reality is that rest of us are blowing ourselves up tonight, the reality is that the opposition came into not worried about the fact that mean, pull out the jacket and blow up us, because who have followed the warlike Moria religion which wants to take over Europe and Daniel’s university, the issue is this, unless the opposition can tells us tonight and Peter is here, one of our great atheist intellectuals can tell us tonight that why don't the vast majority of Muslims around the world behave as violent in aggressively in a tiny minority for politically motivated extremist than they might, as well get up and stop pretending that anything relevant to Islam and Muslim as a whole.

Ladies and gentleman, let me just say this to you, think about what the opposite of the motion is, if you vote tonight opposition’s motion, Islamism is the religion of peace, is religion of war,  of violence, of terror, of aggression but the people who follow Islam me, my wife, my retired parents, my six-year-old child but one point eight million of your fellow British residents and citizens of one point two billion people across the world, your fellow human beings, are all followers, promoters, believers in the religion of violence? Do you really think that? Do you really believe that to be the case, they say that in the Oxford union the most famous debate was in nineteen thirty three when Adolf Hitler lookout for the results of the King country motion, where they voted against fighting for the King country and Hitler was listening out for the result, well tonight's eighty years on, there are two groups of people around the world, who I would argue waiting for the result of tonight's vote, there the millions of peaceful non-violent law-abiding Muslims UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond who see Islam as the source of their identity as a source of spiritual fulfillment of hope, solace and there are the fobs, the hates, the bigots out there, who wants to push the clash of civilizations, who want to divide all of  us into them and us and ours and theirs.

Ladies and gentleman I urge you all not to fuel the arguments of the fobs and bigots, don’t legitimate their divisions that legitimized their hates, trust those Muslims who you know, who you've met, who you here, who don't believe in violence, who do want to hear the peaceful message of Quran, as I believe it to be taught to the majority of Muslims, Islam of peace and compassion and mercy, Islam of Quran, not of al-Qaeda.

Ladies and gentleman I beg to propose a motion to the house. I urge you to vote tonight. Thank you very much for your time.

 

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/multimedia/mehdi-hasan/islam-is-a-peaceful-religion--mehdi-hasan-in-an-oxford-union-debate-following-the-murder-of-a-british-soldier-by-an-islamist-fanatic-in-woolwich/d/12571

 




TOTAL COMMENTS:-   4


  • I proof-read the transcript and edited it to reflect the audio precisely. Feel free to use this instead.

    Full Transcript.

    Thank you very much mister President, Ladies and gentleman, good evening, assalamu ‘alaykum, lovely to see you all here tonight. We are having a very entertaining night, are we not? With some very interesting things being said from the other side of the house tonight. let me begin by saying as a Muslim, as a representative of Islam, I would consider myself an ambassador for Islam, a believer in Islam, a follower of Islam, and its prophets, so in that capacity let me begin by apologizing to Ann Marie for the Bali bombings, I apologize for the role of my religion, me and my people for the killing of Theo Van Gogh, the 7/7, yes, that was all of us, that was Islam, that was Muslims, that was the Quran. I mean astonishing, astonishing claims to make in the very first speech on a day like today, where the conservative prime minister of the United Kingdom and come out and point out that these kind of these are anathema. And I believe you're trying to stand for the Labor party M.P. Election in Briton, if you do that and you make these comments, I’m guessing you’ll have the whip withdrawn from you, but then again UKIPs on the rise, They'll take you, the BNP, they might have something to say about your views.

    Just on a factual points, as we heard a lot from the second speaker about how backward we Muslims are… on a factual point, you said that Islam was born in Saudi Arabia. Islam was born in 610 AD, Saudi Arabia was born in 1932 AD, only 1322 Years off.  Not bad? Not a bad start there.

    Talking of Maths by the way, a man called Al-Khawarizmi , one of the  greatest mathematicians of all time, a Muslim, worked in the golden age Islam, he's the guy who came up not just with Algebra but Algorithms, without Algorithms you wouldn’t have laptops, without laptops Daniel Johnson tonight wouldn’t have been able to print out his speech, in which he came to berate us Muslims for holding back the advance and intellectual achievements of the West, which will happened without any contribution from anyone else other than the Judeo-Christian people of Europe.

    In fact Daniel David Levering, the author of the Pulitzer-prize winning historian, and author of the Golden Prism of Winter, points out that there would be no Renaissance, there would be no Reformation in Europe without the role played by Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, and some of the great Muslim theologians, philosophers, scientists in bringing Greek texts to Europe.

    As for this being our university… I will leave that to the imagination as to who is our and who  is ‘their’.

    An astonishing, astonishing set of speeches so far, making this case here tonight…a mixture of, just, cherry-picked quotes, facts and figures, self-serving, selective, a farrago of distortions, misrepresentations, misinterpretations, misquotations ... Daniel talked about my article in the New Statesmen, which got me a lot of flack where I talked about the anti-Semitism that is prevalent in some parts of the Muslim community, which indeed it is. Of course I didn't say in that piece, that it was caused by the religion of Islam. In fact, modern Anti-Semitism in the Middle-East was imported from (finish the sentence)…. Judeo-Christian Europe, where I believe some certain bad things happened to the Jewish people. In fact Tom Friedman, Jewish-American Columnist for the New York Times, told me in this very chamber last week, where he believed, had Muslims been running Europe in the nineteen forties, six million extra Jews would still be alive today. So I’m not going to take lessons in anti-Semitism from someone who's here to defend the Judeo-Christian values of a continent that murdered six million Jews.

    I don't think Europe is evil or bad, I am a very proud European. I don't want to judge Europe on this basis, but if we're gonna play this gutter game where we pull out the Bali bombing, and we pull out examples of anti Semitism, then of course I’m going to come back and say well hold on. I mean look, let's be very clear, Daniel here was a last minute replacement for Douglas Murray who had to pull out. And Douglas and I have well-documented differences. But to be fair to Douglas, as to be fair to Ann Marie, and to Peter: atheists. Athiests see all religions as evil, violent, threatening.

    The problem I have with Daniel’s speech is that Daniel comes here to rant this robust defense of Christianity forgetting that his fellow Christians, people who said they were acting in the name of Jesus, gave us the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the anti-Jewish Pogrom, European colonialism in Africa and Asia, The Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, not to mention countless arson and the bomb attacks on abortion clinics in the United States of America to this very day. I would like a little bit of humility from Daniel first, before he begins lecturing other communities and other faiths on violence, terror and intolerance.

    But I would say this to address the gentleman's very valid point here, I’m not gonna play that game. I don't actually believe that Christianity is a religion of violence and hate because of what the LRA does in Uganda or what crusaders did to Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem when they took back the city in the twelfth of thirteenth century, or whenever it was. I believe that Christianity, like Islam, like Judaism, like pretty much every mainstream religion, is based on love and compassion and faith. I do follow a religion in which a hundred and thirteen out of a hundred and fourteen chapters of the Quran begin by introducing the god of Islam as a god of mercy and compassion. I would not have it any other way. I don’t follow a religion which introduces my God to me as a god of war, as some kind of Greek god of wrath, as a god of hate, and injustice, not at all.

    As Adam pointed out you go through the Quran, and you see the mercy, and the love and the justice, and yes you have verses that a refer to warfare and violence, of course it does. This is not motion about passivism; I’m not here to argue that Islam is a pacifistic faith. It is not. Islam allows military action, violence, in certain limited contexts, and yes, a minority of Muslims do take it out of that context. But is it religious?

    We talked about Woolwich. Daniel and Ann Marie have suggested that it is definitely religion that's behind all of this. Well actually, what I find so amusing tonight, is that we’re having a debate on Islam, and the opposition tonight have come forward, we have a graduate in Law graduate, a graduate in Modern History, a graduate in Chemistry. And you know I admire all of their intellects and their abilities but we don't have anyone that is actually an expert on Islam, a scholar of Islam, a historian of Islam, a speaker of Arabic, even a terrorism expert, or a security expert, or a pollster let alone, to talk about what Muslims believe or think. Instead we have people coming here, putting forward these views, putting forward these sweeping opinions. Listen to Professor Robert Pape, of the University of Chicago, one of America’s leading terrorism experts, who unlike our esteemed opposition tonight, studied every single case of suicide terrorism between 1980 and 2005, 315 cases in total and he concluded, and I quote,

    “There is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism or any of the world's religions. Rather, what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific, secular and strategic goal to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.”

    And the irony is, when we talk about terrorism, the irony is that the opposition and the Muslim terrorist, the al-Qaeda types, actually have one thing in common, because they both believe that Islam is a war-like, violent religion. They both agree on that! They have everything in common! Osama Bin Laden would be nodding along to everything that’s been have heard tonight from the opposition. The problems is, the problem is that mainstream Muslims don’t, and the majority of the Muslims around the world don’t. In fact a gentleman here came and started quoting all sorts of polls. Gallup carried out the biggest poll of Muslims all around the world. Fifty thousand Muslims in thirty five countries, where 93% of Muslims rejected 9/11 and suicide attacks and of the 7% who didn’t, they all, when polled and focus grouped, cited political reasons for their support for violence, not religious reasons.

    And as for Islamic scholars and what they say, well! Daniel talks about our University of Oxford. Well, go down to Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. Get hold of a man anmed Sheikh Afify Al-Akiti who is a massively well-credentialed and well-respected Islamic scholar, who has studied across the world, who in the days after 7/7 published a fatwa denouncing terrorism in the name of Islam, calling for the protection of all non-combatants, at all times and describing suicide bombings as an innovation with no basis in Islamic law. Go and listen to Sheikh Tahir ul-Qadri, one of Pakistan’s most famous Islamic scholars, who published a 600-page fatwa, condemning the killing of all innocents and all suicide bombing, unconditionally, without any ifs or buts. There's nothing new here. This is mainstream Islam, mainstream scholarship, which has said this for years: you don't go on and kill people willy nilly, on the high street or anywhere else, on a bus or mall, based on verses of the Quran, you cherry-picked without any context, any understanding, any interpretation or any commentary.

    [question incomprehensible]

    I didn't say it doesn't happen at all, I never said it doesn’t happen, but I don't blame Islam, that’s a very good point and a lot of us, a lot of us, are campaigning against that and we are campaigning against it in the name of Islam, and we are campaigning against it in the name of various interpretation of Islam. Ann Marie comes and scares us with her talk of Sharia law. I would like to see the book of Sharia law. It doesn't exist; people argue over what Sharia law is. And you empower the extremists by saying that there is only one version. You empower them all. [I don’t believe you took ay interruptions Ann Marie, so I think you should stay there for a moment]

    Here we are dealing with a fourteen hundred year old, global religion, followed by 1.6 billion people in every corner of the world, a quarter of humanity, of all backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and yet the opposition tonight wants to generalise, stereotype, smear in order to desperately win this debate. And here's my question, if we’re gonna generalise and smear, people say, were yesterday's attackers motivated by Islam, big debate, I do not believe they were, let say they were, let's say Faisal Shahzad, the times square bomber was motivated by Islam, let’s assume for the sake of arguments... that Richard Reeves, the shoe bomber, was motivated by Islam. If Islam is responsible for this, if Islam is motivating these people, and therefore Islam is not a religion of peace but of war, then ask yourself this question: what aren’t the rest of us doing it? Why, is it such a tiny minority of Muslims that are interpreting their religion in the way that the opposition claim they are? Let's assume there are sixteen thousand suicide bombers in the world, there aren’t, but lets assume there are for the sake of argument. That’s 0.01% of the Muslim population globally. What about the other 99.99% of Muslims who the opposition tonight either ignore or smear?

    The reality is that rest of us aren’t blowing ourselves up tonight, the reality is that the opposition came here tonight, not worried about the fact that me and Adam might pull open our jackets and blow ourselves up tonight, because we’re followers of a war-like, warrior religion, which wants to take over Europe and Daniel’s university. The issue is this: unless the opposition can tell us tonight and Peter Atkins is here, one of our great atheist intellectuals, can tell us tonight…can they answer this question tonight… why don't the vast majority of Muslims around the world behave as violently and aggressively as a tiny minority of politically-motivated extremist, then they might as well give up and stop pretending that they have anything relevant to say about Islam or Muslims as a whole.

    Ladies and gentleman, let me just say this to you: think about what the opposite of this motion is, if you vote not tonight, think about what you’re saying the opposite of this motion is. That Islam isn’t a religion of peace, its a religion of war, of violence, of terror, of aggression, that the people who follow Islam, me, my wife, my retired parents, my six-year-old child, the 1.8 million of your fellow British residents and citizens, the 1.6 billion people across the world, your fellow human beings, are all followers, promoters, believers in a religion of violence. Do you really think that? Do you really believe that to be the case?

    They say that in the Oxford union the most famous debate was in 1933, when Adolf Hitler looked out for the results of the King and Country motion, where they voted against fighting for King and Country and Hitler was listening out for the result. Well tonight, eighty years on, there are two groups of people around the world, who I would argue are waiting for the result of tonight's vote. There are the millions of peaceful non-violent, law-abiding Muslims in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond, who see Islam as the source of their identity, as a source of spiritual fulfilment, of hope, of solace… and there are the phobes, the hates, the bigots out there, who wants to push the clash of civilizations, who want to divide all of us into them and us, and ours and theirs.

    Ladies and gentleman, I urge you all not to fuel the arguments of the phobes and bigots, don’t legitimise their divisions, don’t legitimise their hate. Trust those Muslims who you know, who you've met, who you hear, who don't believe in violence, who do want to hear the peaceful message of the Quran, as they believe it to be taught to the majority of Muslims, the Islam of peace and compassion and mercy, the Islam of the Quran, not of al-Qaeda.

    Ladies and gentleman, I beg to propose this a motion to the house. I urge you to vote yes tonight. Thank you very much for your time.


    By Sufyan Badar - 3/17/2018 8:16:03 PM



  • Mehdi Hassan presented the world with the best argument, Islam is a religion of peace and not a religion of war, although it is not a pacifistic religion, no Muslim will argue that but Islam does not allow unjustifiable killings in the name of jihad.
    By حوا أباً - 10/30/2017 8:40:03 AM



  • Thank you so much for the written transcript. 
    By Navishta Sahar - 2/2/2015 12:12:59 PM



  • Mehdi Hasan is a good debater, and makes very effective points. He of course does not present the whole picture, but then no debater would.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 7/12/2013 10:53:57 AM



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