Debates about Islam: Two UK Videos

Several websites have drawn attention to the YouTube video of a recent debate in London on “Muslims in the West: What Is the Way Forward?”, featuring Paul Armstrong (Association of British Muslims), Tehmina Kazi (British Muslims for Secular Democracy) Mubin Shaikh (billed as a Canadian National Security Consultant – see here), and – representing a more conservative viewpoint – Abdullah al-Andalusi (Muslim Debate Initiative). The moderator is billed as “Allegra Mowen”, but is clearly Allegra Mostyn-Owen, who was recently announced as a member of Boris Johnson’s proposed “Muslim Engagement Task Force” (this has received some press attention as she is Johnson’s ex-wife, although a report in today’s Independent suggests some confusion on the issue of the “Task Force”).

Unfortunately, it was not an event where I would have been welcome: the billed organiser, a man named Charlie Flowers, is a vigilante who engages in on-line harassment, and he has threatened me with violence for daring to criticise his behaviour. I still sporadically receive abusive messages from him, usually late on Saturday nights; the full story is outlined here and here.

Armstrong and al-Andalusi also recently appeared on a programme called Hotseat, on the VoxAfrica channel. Here, they debated “Tommy Robinson” (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) of the EDL and Carlos Cortiglia of the BNP on “Is Islam synonymous with Terrorism?”