Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thompson debates Akyol on feasibility of moderate Islam

Shadid Lewis and Mustafa Akyol debated
on behalf of Islam being a peaceful religion
August 10, 2013 (Ypsilanti, MI) - Today's debates in EMU's Grand Ballroom began with Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, and Mustafa Akyol, Turkish columnist and author who flew in from Turkey for the day, debating the question, "Does Islam Support Religious Liberty?"

Akyol, comparing Islamic-Christian differences to those between Judaism and Christianity, claimed that “Islam respects Jesus and Mary and so is closer to Christianity.” The question Akyol wanted to address was, "Can we get along?" and he claims that Islam actually recognizes Judaism and Christianity as valid monotheistic faiths.
"It is interesting that most persecution against people of other faiths has happened in the 20th century, for example the Armenian genocide. Yes, Christians have suffered under Muslims, but it was due to nationalism since the Christian Armenians had coexisted with Muslims for centuries before that." Akyol pointed out that the source of 20th century conflicts could be land, resources, or tribal, and said that we should not over-religionize these conflicts because their sources are usually not religious.
However, Akyol claims, the biggest problem in Islam today that threatens religious freedom is the ban on apostasy or conversion from Islam to any other religion. Akyol himself defended "freedom for Islam and from Islam," and said the ban on apostosy doesn’t come from the Koran but from post-Koranic literature on which much of Sharia law is built. It’s also coming from an era in which religion and politics were more intertwined - In medieval times, conversion away from Islam was akin to joining the enemy army.
Akyol argues that Islam can support religious liberty if these are reformed.
Richard Thompson then took the stage and began by telling conference attendees that it’s "disrespectful of Islam" to not take them at their word. "What does Islam stand for? 9/11, Boston marathon bombing, Somalia, anti-semitism, forced marriages, death for blasphemy and apostasy." He went on to explain that most Muslims are not jihadists but most Germans were not Nazis - there is a small group that directs the agenda of the whole. Thompson says that Akyol wants Islam to be something it isn’t, and used a WWII example to set the stage for what he was about to do: “Tell the truth; use their own words.”
Thompson went on to quote Akyol's book, Islam without Extremes: “Islamic societies in the modern world are not beacons of freedom.” He gave this and other examples from Akyol’s book to show that "Islam is a violent religion, was borne of violence, and spreads by violence. We have to understand that if we are to survive as a nation."
Thompson says that Muslims already "fought that battle" between moderate and extreme Islam centuries ago, and the moderates lost. Even Turkey, once held up as an example of moderate Islam, is becoming more extreme today. He says we don’t have time to change Islam, since Muslim countries are beginning to acquire nuclear weapons. Thompson concluded, "We have to be vigilant and understand the nature of the enemy, which is to destroy the United States of America."
Debate followed, and cross-examination ensued, moderated by Kresta. The remainder of the debate focused on trying to identify who is the enemy, since both men agreed that not all Muslims are violent but that some Muslims are extreme jihadists who pose a threat to the U.S.



    Here listed are non-Scriptural reasons to reject water baptism.

    1. Do not be baptism because it is an act of obedience and obedience is not essential to be saved.
    2. Do not be baptized because the thief on the cross was not baptized and he was saved.
    3. Do not be baptized because it is essential to join a denominational church, however, you can get into heaven without being baptized in water.
    4. Do not be baptized because baptism is a work of the law of Moses, and works cannot saved.
    5. Do not be baptized because being baptized by someone is working your way to heaven.
    6. Do not be baptized because your preacher said it was not essential in order to have sins forgiven.
    7. Do not be baptized because your creed book says you are saved the very minute you believe.
    8. Do not be baptized because certain men claim that Mark 16:16 should not be included in the Bible.
    9. Do not be baptized because some Bible commentaries state that men are baptized because they have already been saved.
    10. Do not be baptized because all of your friends and church members believe that baptism is not essential to the forgiveness of sins.
    11. Do not be baptized because it is simply a testimony faith, but is not necessary to be saved.
    12. Do not be baptized because God was not smart enough to have Acts 2:38 translated correctly. Baptized for the forgiveness of sins is wrong. It should be because your sins have already been forgiven. Do not be baptized because the Bible cannot be trusted.

    If baptism is not essential to salvation why would you want to get wet?


    1. Be baptized so your sin can be forgiven. (Acts 2:38)

    2. Be baptized so your sins can be washed away. (Acts 22:16)

    3. Be baptized so your trespasses can be forgiven. (Colossians 2:12-13)

    4. Be baptized in order to be saved. (Mark 16:16)

    5. Be baptized so you can walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

    6. Be baptized so you can be freed from sin. (Romans 6:7)

    7. Be baptized so you can be saved. (1 Peter 3:31)

    8. Be baptized so you can have a clear conscience toward God. (1 Peter 3:21)

    9. Be baptized so you can be sanctified and cleansed. (Ephesians 5:26)

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    11. Be baptized so you can put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27)

    12. Be baptized so you can enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

    13 Be baptized to you can be saved and added to the Lord's church.(Acts 2:40-41) (Acts 2:47)

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  2. How can Catholic debaters stand there and listen the statement that "Islam respects Jesus and Mary and so is closer to Christianity” without refuting it. Islam's view of Jesus is that Jesus will come at the judgement to testify against his own divinity and against all Christians. This may be a reason for Islamic respect but is a total blasphemy to Christians. Remember Jesus told his disciples "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." We need people to stand up for Christianity and renounce all the Muslim lies. Oh I forgot lying is an integral part of their religion.