We’ve all seen many Muslim and Christian debates that addressed relevant topics. Topics such as the definition of monotheism, the true nature of Jesus Christ (‘alayhi asalam), preservation of the scriptures, and salvation. However, there is one issue that I feel needs to be covered more often given the heinous propaganda of the media — and that is “foreign policy.”
Hence, I’ve drafted a list of topics and sub-topics that Muslims ought to consider proposing in future debates.
Important note(s): some may argue that debating secularism, liberalism, and atheism are also important. And I don’t disagree. However, secular-liberalism is a product of Christianity. Moreover, another contention is that debates are futile. They don’t actually persuade anyone. And while I agree, to me, the most important audience in these debates is sometimes our own. Muslims are facing the brunt of today’s ideological attacks. And hence are most susceptible to being duped by the media propaganda. And that’s why it’s important to make them aware of not only the rebuttals, but the actual arguments, and that we as Muslims can be confident in our Deen.
1. The Muslim world and the West – which has been more violent?
2. Terrorism – is there anything worse? The history of Islam and the West.
3. Both Islam and Christianity promote peace. So where is the barbarism coming from?
4. A just Foreign policy: Islam or the West?
5. Islam and Christianity: are they violent faiths?
6. Which is worse? The terrorism of Secular West, the Christian world, or the Muslim World?
Omitted*: sexuality, slavery, weak hadeeth
*These topics are often misused and abused by Islamophobes and can take the debate way-off topic. They are debates in of and themselves. Unfortunately, there’s much disinformation out there that is used to espouse emotions (i.e. right-hand possess or slavery). The topic has been completely misunderstood. In the West, slavery espouses images of African-American slaves, a brutal history indeed. However, Islam came to free slaves, but acknowledges that it may exist in certain places & times. Whereas the West is in denial of that they enslave their own citizens and exploit third world countries. However, this may be a good opportunity to address these issue if they arise.
Sub-topics and points:
How Islam and Muslims have historically treated Christians and Jews with justice
Why Christian-Secularists tend to cause much bloodshed – it’s because their faith has no laws when it comes to warfare, whereas Islam does…
The truth about Jihad: you can’t kill innocent civilians, elderly, non-combatants, cut down a fruit-bearing tree, or damage places of worship, infrastructure, etc.
Islam is neither a pacifist or violent faith
When Muslims did engage in warfare
Yes, Muslims do make mistakes – and Muslims will disagree with themselves. However, there are two issues at play here: (1) putting them spotlight on Muslims, while ignoring the causes of some of their violent reactions, and (2) ignoring what was done to the Muslims in the first place, often the
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
From Christianity to Islam, from Islam to the Inquisition
Viet Nam War – Muhammad Ali, Nonsensical violence and nonsense cause, American people rose up
CBC documentary: Power of Nightmares
William Blum quote
9/11 and Muslim condemnations – Bill O’Reily – bigot who wants Muslims to protest against things they didn’t do
Afghan war – some brutal facts, starvation, etc.
Iraq war – stories you’ve never heard, Fallujah, etc.
Jeremy Scahill – media, war, empathy
Stories from Palestine and boycotting Israel
CAR, Mali, Libya, Syria (who put assad there is important)
Support for regimes in central asia
Interference in the Muslim world
U.S. Bases in the Muslim world – would Americans accept a Chinese military base on their soil?
U.S. funding despotic regimes – funding the Egyptian military. Would Americans allow their military or political parties to be funded by Russia? In the Muslim world, the military is the political party. The military often has a strong political bearing.
RAND Institute (Building Moderate Muslim Networks, Civil Democratic Islam)
Documentary film: why we fight
Anticipated response: well we Christians are against bloodshed. That’s politics not religion. And it’s not done in the name of Christianity.
Response: so you just get to walk away from it all? Your tax dollars, your politicians, your economy, your military, your think tanks, your newspapers, your stocks, etc. On the other hand, we Muslims condemn the extremists among us, but you say it’s not enough. While you on the other hand, haven’t even condemned anything!
Anticipated argument: blame, blame, blame or these aren’t acts of terrorism
Response: it’s worse than terror. It’s occupation, invasion, imperialism, colonization, and empire.
Media-propaganda – Noam Chomsky, Sut Jhally, Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald
Christian Zionism and Jewish Zionism have very little to do with God, peace, and mercy
Possible structure for debate:
5 minute intro by each speaker
15 minute presentation by each speaker
Speaker exchange (20 minutes) minutes
Speaker A gets to 1 minute to ask maximum 2 questions
Speaker B gets 4 minutes to respond
And vice versa
20 minutes Audience Q&A:
Must be one question for each speaker from opposing side – 30 seconds to ask
Each speaker has 2 minutes to answer
Speakers must answer the question, but may also pose questions to their opponent
5 minute closing by each speaker
After debate: audience gets a chance to engage speakers in private
Both parties agree on a moderator