March 15, 2008

House cleaning required

The Doha Debates is a public forum for dialogue and freedom of speech based in Qatar held each month. The debates are Modeled on the Oxford Union debates and presented by the internationally renowned broadcaster Tim Sebastian. A motion is presented to the 350-strong audience and two speakers argue on behalf of the motion and two speak against it.

Earlier this month I watched in BBC a debate titled "This House believes that Muslims are failing to combat extremism". It was a lively debate with speakers like Ed Husain, the ex Islamic fundamentalist. His book 'The Islamist' was published in 2007. In it he says Muslims have a responsibility to stand up and reclaim their faith from extremists.

While most Muslims react to the fact that they are getting the blame of religious extremism around the world, sometime they forget to raise to the occasion when they are required to stop such incidents from happening in their communities. E.g. in Saudi Arabia (and elsewhere) propaganda books calling Jihad against non Muslims are sold outside Mosques and nobody seem to care about it.

If you are a Muslim, then watch this debate to know how to reclaim your faith from extremism and if you are a non Muslim then understand the complexities in the Muslim communities around the world (Muslims are not always Arabs, and with strong religious views) deterring them to take an unified action against extremism.


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