Monday, August 12, 2013

Fast-Moving Debates Delve into Questions on Islam

August 10, 2013 (Ypsilanti, MI) - Verbal fireworks erupted at one point and microphones were shut down by debate moderator, conference host and CEO of Ave Maria Communications Al Kresta this afternoon during a debate between Shadid Lewis and Robert Spencer. The two men debated the question, "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?"

Lewis, U.S.A. Regional Director of the Muslim Debate Initiative, argued that Islam indeed is a religion of peace and used quotes from the Koran to support his position. Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and author of a dozen books, began the debate by saying that since there had been so much controversy surrounding his appearance, he "decided not to show up" and instead would use direct quotes from the Koran and from Islamic scholars and other leaders to bolster his position that Islam is not a religion of peace but rather of extreme jihadist violence.

In a debate format with timed presentations, rebuttals, cross-examination and questions and answers from the audience, the two men made their cases. Spencer quoted passages from the Koran supporting violence against unbelievers, such as “If they turn away, kill them wherever you find them.” He also cited violent jihadist actions such as the Boston marathon bombing, the Woolwich attack and the 9/11 attacks. Lewis responded by saying that when there is a dispute about what Islam teaches or what the Koran says, you are to consult the Koran itself for clarification, quoting a passage which says "shall I seek a judge other than Allah?” Then he proceeded to quote passages from the Koran supporting peace, such as one which says that if [unbelievers] turn away, your job is only to deliver the message.

Al Kresta, moderating the debate, at one point distilled the discussion down to two questions for the debaters: “this goes to the heart of the debate. Two things: can non-Muslims be targeted because they are non-Muslim, and secondly, can one reject Islam in good faith?” 

In closing statements, Lewis again asserted that the violent acts of a few should not taint our view of Islam as a whole. He compared jihadist Muslims to Christians who made flawed assertions about Christian beliefs in centuries past, and said that Islam warns Muslims against blindly following religious leaders.
Roberts again responded by quoting Muslim leaders who support violent jihad and concluded, "This is an awful lot of high powered misunderstanding of Islam... Unfortunately, there are not enough moderate scholars to have any influence on the violent jihadists....When was the last time you heard of anyone reading the Bible and committing an act of violence, with copious quotes? However, there have been many recent incidences of people doing exactly this with the Koran…. We can thank God that there are Islamic scholars who disagree with this, but it’s foolish to pretend that it’s not happening."          



  1. I see this phony front for Catholics is now in the market of selling hate for money.

    We should observe this "ambush on Islam" just more of the same radicalized Christian hate expected from right wing loons like Al Kresta and his gang of psycho's.

    1. Seems like you have a lot of hate of your own if your gonna be calling poeple "loons" and "psychos". It also doesn't help to politicize things when they don't need to be. And lastly I would ask that if you are going to discuss something then please do it respectfully. If you are already reacting they way you are you could never be open to what is true. That is the whole point of dialogue..... to find out what is true in reality.

  2. Prayer for the Conversion of the Remnant of Israel

    “God of Goodness and Father of Mercies, we beseech Thee by the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and by the intercession of the Patriarchs and Holy Apostles, to look with compassion upon the remnant of Israel, so that they may come to a knowledge of our only Savior Jesus Christ, and share in the precious graces of Redemption. Amen.”

    The Conversion of the Jews

    “According to the interpretation of the Fathers, the conversion of the Jews towards the end of the world is foretold by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans (11:25-26): "For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, . . . that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob".

    See: Catholic Encyclopedia: General Judgement -

    AUDIO - Judaism Discovered - Michael Hoffman with Jeff Rense (Full Interview) -

    BOOK - Judaism Rediscovered by Michael Hoffman (.pdf) -

  3. I just have to laugh when I read an attack comment by "anonymous"!? Get off your dad's computer, it's past your bedtime junior ... I guess when they wish to remain anonymous we are free to imagine them as whatever we want. lol

  4. The trouble with quoting Quran is this,that Quran is the book which was, when revealed ,changed the meaning of arabic words. For instance the kafir in pre islamic era referred to a farmer and after Quran referred to disbelievers. Quran was revealed to the man who could not read nor write, yet the scholars who converted at that time, the scribes of arabia who converted to islam spent years to learn each chapter of Quran. Not because they could not read the text of Quran or were incapable of drawing out a meaning. Rather the ground rule is that if you read a verse of Quran and draw out a meaning you need to check with the explanation that Prophet sallalahu alaihi waslaam of islam gave for that verse. If what one says is in contradiction to it or lets say one makes a side notes out of the reported meaning , it will not hold. The reason being that Quran is a text not open to individual's interpretation. Infact the rule of thumb here is this, if an individual reads an ayah of Quran, and says xyz is the meaning of this verse. Later he finds out that what he understood was,indeed inline with the explanation provided by the Prophet sallalahu alai hi wasalam ,he still was being unethical. for he shouldnot have drawn out the meanings by himself, rather should have learned the meanings as they were taught by the Prophet salallahu alaihi wasalam. The problem isnt that spencer brigade quotes Quranic verses here and there, the problem is that many muslims indulge in intellectually explaining Quran. So now many self studied guys write up a commentary of Quran ,when truly they shouldnot. When Quran is not the work of human intellect but divine revealation. How can human intellect than be an authority over the divine source. So the Quran can only be understood with the aide of Prophetic salalahu alaihi wasalam's commentary. For instance there is a verse in Quran "So, Woe to those performers of Salah "(manadatory worship of muslims)" If i were to quote this verse and says clearly Quran prohibited salah by cursing worshipper and this is coming in the end of Quran so apparently i backed it up too.There Quran is telling us to give up salah. I would be laughed at for drawing this meaning. For this is not the meaning of this verse.

    Having said all of that as an anonymous person ( i keep forgetting to become a serious blogger/commentator thus no password memory, that any my little gorgeous kids that have siginificantly reduced my memory). I do hope muslims can have a meaningful dialogue with western minds. Surely, that is better than these awful wars that USA is getting entrapped in and this sense of fear that is being exploited by certain quarters. I feel sorry for all the lives lost when humans have so much more potential than this.