Sunday, January 6, 2013

DEBATE: a personal review

It was a Riveting Public Debate on 
Islam and Evolution

Over 800 people attended the Public Debate in Central London on Islam and Evolution organized by the Deen Institute http://www.thedeeninstitute.com, and the event was streamed live across the globe. 

I am back alive and well, and it was definitely one of the most exciting and exhilarating events I have participated in. I was not very hopeful in the beginning that I would be able to convince many of the brothers and sisters in the audience that biological evolution is a fact that we can reconcile with Islam. In the end, with the help of Biological Anthropologist Professor Fatimah Jackson, we delivered a robust defense for fact of evolution and how practicing muslims can reconcile their muslim belief with their faith.  Harun Yahya's representative Oktar Babuna started off strong but by the end of the conference had lost credibility because even the Imam's debating the subject accepted evolution as applied to the animal kingdom but were debating whether there is a line to be drawn at humans. This in itself was also a riveting debate between Dr. Usama Hassan and Sheikh Yasir Qhaydi. 

In the end I will let you decided what the outcome was. I will post the link as soon as It comes out. 

I was incredibly impressed with our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters in the UK. I felt they were genuinely thirsty for knowledge and genuinely wanted to understand more about evolution to make informed choices about their position about reconciling Islam and Evolution. There positive attitude has inspired me to start bulidng tools by Muslims for Muslims to understand evolution. 

I was genuinely surprised to receive a youtube link from my Postdoc Abdul-Matten Rafiqi (who helped me prepare for the conference) of a Brother whom I had spoken to for 15-20 min at the conference. We had discussed calmly and rationally in the spirit of exchanging perspectives and having your ideas challenged but defending them in a rational way. His reaction was therefore surprising to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yefnWNBAfQ0

I am speechless! Interestingly, an anonymous muslim brother posted a response to this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoJqJ6azTbY


Lets wait for the conference video and take it from there!

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