Matthew Handley | Islam Is A Peaceful Religion | Oxford Union

this debate does not and should not take place in a vacuum it takes place in the real world and yesterday that world was profoundly shaken by a reprehensible act of violence in woollen which saw the soldier Lee Rigby brutally murdered by two assailants in the immediate aftermath of that attack two men claimed that they had instigated that attack and claimed that their justification for doing that attack was our ladies and gentlemen I think he will all agree this was a despicable act and would wish to extend your sympathies and bitter and wishes to the family of mr. Rigby at this time but more than that I am sure these are sentiments which are shared by the overwhelming majority of Muslims both in Britain and around the world not only what they have shared the same revulsion at an act of brutality against our fellow man that we all do but moreover they would have felt the anger that their God and their religion was falsely an illegitimately invoked as justification for that heinous crime without any legitimacy in either the Koran or any Islamic precept in any legitimate reading of those whatsoever moreover they would have felt a profound sense of fear as the clouds of vitriol and misinformation descended once again on all Muslims as they do in the aftermath of any attack which is perpetrated by someone purporting to act in the name of Islam within minutes of the attack before any of the facts have been substantiated Muslims was trending on Twitter with literally thousands of tweets exhorting the expulsion and even extermination of Muslims from the United Kingdom last night the EDL took to the streets in order to reclaim them from Islamism and in doing so attempted to torch mosques across the country popular media newspapers and TV channels before rushing to characterize these men as fanatics or maniacs sought to characterize them as Muslims ladies and gentlemen the victims of any terror attack are not confined to those who are directly and physically affected by it they are if they the victims of a terror attack are all those who feel insecure victimized and fearful as a result of that attack ladies and gentlemen the British Muslim community were the victims too of yesterday's attack that is the context in which tonight's debate occurs ladies and gentlemen and that is why it is more important than ever that you refuse to buy into the voices of fear and hate and confusion which seeks to cut the fundamentally peaceful religion of Islam as a violent one in the aftermath of such an attack it is right and just and important that we refuse to allow a monopoly on the discourse surrounding Islam to be given to those voices of fear who even seems to seek to cast it as something that it's not or seek to use it to justify their own violent and heinous aimed and to that end I am delighted to introduce such an esteemed group of speakers to speak alongside me on this motion tonight on the proposition I'm joined by Adam Dean an international public speaker and broadcaster who has been speaking and researching and working in the field of Islamic apologetics for almost a decade now I'm also joined by Mehdi Hassan who turned down an invitation to question time to be here tonight he's a former PPS here at Oxford and our political director of the UK Huffington Post on the opposition we are joined by anne-marie Walters air water sorry a journalist a member of the Labour Party who has campaigned against the imposition of Sharia law in Western democracies we also joined next to her by Daniel Johnson who like me studied modern history but unlike me is now the editor of a right-wing journal finally we are joined by Peter Atkins a faller Perfector of chemistry who is frequently out here Oxford University who has frequently provided a scientific critique of religion I'd like to say to everyone speaking in tonight's debate forgive me if I mispronounce a Salam I like ooh the universal Islamic reating may peace be upon you now for the duration of my speech I'm going to do three things first of all I'm going to start out the parameters and the find in which this debate should occur secondly I'm going to give you a positive justification for the consideration of Islam as a religion of peace and finally I'm going to tell you what it would mean for you to vote in favor of the propositions tonight and wire to something that you should definitely do so first of all in terms of setting the parameters for this debate because both Islam and both peace mean lots and lots of different things to lots and lots of different people even in this preliminary stage a stage I think that's why we should be very wary about refusing to allow Islam to be characterized as peaceful and allowing a hegemony over what Islam can and cannot be to any group in society at all when we're speaking about peace we broadly speak but I'd like to invoke a metaphor used by Martin Luther King which was to say that peace is not just the absence of violence but the presence of justice now in order to be able to cast Islam as not being a religion of peace of not conforming to those tenants it's not just enough to cite individual actions or individual scripture was opposition has to prove to you is that there is something fundamental to the character of Islam which prevents it from being cast as peaceful and indeed that Islam has to be diametrically opposed to peace it is not enough for them to psyche the actions of individual extremists who invoke the name of religion for their own goals in all religions we can point to the example of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda who claimed the name of Christianity for their atrocities and the actions of people like Barrett Goldstein who attacked the Cave of the patriarchs in the 1990s in the name of Judaism all around the world and in all religions people often seek to illegitimately hijack the name of that faith for their own violent and maniacal ends ladies and gents when the actions of those people tell us absolutely nothing whatsoever about the character of the religion they invoke and tell us everything about the individual and the individual alone moreover it is not enough for them to score to cite script and cite individual pieces of scripture out of context which may lend themselves to warlike rhetoric within the Koran first of all such excitations exist within any religious doctrine what more to do so ignores the contemporary context in which the Quran was dictated in this inner state of total war in the seventh century scripture announces something that my colleagues going to talk about in more detail finally though what they'd like to say in terms of scriptural citations is that when we're dealing with a doctrine as diverse and there's multifaceted as Islam even if it can be proven that there exist elements of war like rhetoric within Islam even if we can't say that in some ways Islam could be considered to have elements of violence that is not enough for what we are saying is it is a legitimate and intuitive reading of Islam for people to draw that of being a character of peace and to that to be that the message that they're on an individual take away from Islam so in order for opposition to win this debate they have to prove that Islam taken its totality is so diametrically opposed to peace as to render it entirely illegitimate for us to cast it as a religion of peace now I realize that's a high bar ladies and gentlemen but I think when you're attempting to tell a quarter of humanity what their religion cannot be and attempting to essential eyes fundamentally negative and violent characteristics those people aren't quite comfortable with setting the bar damn high ladies and gentlemen in order for us to win this debate on our own proposition although we have to do is to prove to you that there is nothing inherent to Islam which prevents individuals from taking away a peaceful interpretation of that fake that's all not all we're going to do though I think we can go further that's what I'm going to do as I move on is give you a positive justification as to why it casting Islam as a religion of peace is a widely held and intuitive reading of the doctrines and practices of Islam so I think first of all when we address the Quran in its totality we see that it has an overwhelmingly peaceful character okay first of all the very ideal of Quranic society is Dajjal Salam literally the house of peace moreover one of the fundamental pillars of Islam is arms giving is charity is fellowship with your fellow man attempting to do good unto others as you would like to have it done to yourself Muhammad in his very last sermon said her no so that no one may hurt you and whilst they may give to you examples of instances in which there are elements of warlike rhetoric or violent rhetoric within the Koran in the overwhelming majority of cases they are fought those those such scriptural instances are followed by excitations which suggests that taking the peaceful option is always the preferable one and is always the one which is more in line with God's wishes but moreover I think that we can cast Islam as being a peaceful religion based on the change that it seeks to inspire on an individual level because that's what Islam attempts to do it seems to inspire a positive and the peaceful change in all of its followers first of all it suggests that the choice to engage in Islam and to become a Muslim has to be a free one and has to be devoid of compulsion secondly for those individuals who do enter into the Islamic faith it is there is a massive impetus on engaging in good deeds with your fellow man but moreover I'd like to say in terms of casting Islam as a religion of peace is that we can also consider peace in terms of inner peace today ladies and gentlemen in a confusing world of consumerism and uncertainty the absolute clarity uncertainty that Islam gives to its followers that there is something we're striving for that it is worth acting in a morally just way and that there is something beyond this this this temporal and this material realm is something that allows people a great sense of inner peace and that is something invaluable and something that we should not take away based on the arguments of opposition now finally I'd like to tell you what it would mean for you to vote with the proposition in tonight's debate because I told you at the start this debate doesn't occur in a vacuum now even if we were to ignore the horrific events of yesterday in a post-911 landscape what we have witnessed is a decade-long surge of violence aggression and human rights abuses directed at Muslims which have been justified by a sustained demonization campaign when the when the Western media and where mainstream media is looking for a voice of Islam they do not seek out the moderate voices they do not seek out the reason voices they see how angry man with hooks ladies and gentlemen they see how people who are setting fire to F there has been a deliberate distortion in the mind in the actions of the media in a post-911 and post 7-7 world which has been internalized by many people in society that's why in the aftermath of yesterday's attacked Twitter went absolutely mental with people suggesting that we should kill all the Muslims that literally something that was retweeted thousands and thousands of time but what I'd like to say ladies and gentlemen is that in the coming days that's a sort of rhetoric that's going to be predominating in the media that's the sort of rhetoric this going to be directed at each and every one of you and if you vote with the opposition tonight you're buying into that rhetoric you are telling is like them and people who follow the Islamic Lee if you are telling Muslims what their religion can and cannot be and that it must not be peaceful and must be violent that is something which essential eise's and that is something that marginalizes when you walk out that door tonight you've got a choice between love and hate between embrace and rejection between peace and conflict I hope you made the right choice [Applause]

No sir it’s not a religion of peace, I am an ex Muslim , Isis is the fundamental of Islamic teaching , after all that’s what mohamed and his companion did , it’s a religion of hate , horror and imaginations .
A prophet who marries a child is not sent by God , a prophet who marries his adaptive son wife because he fall in love with her can’t be a prophet , and s prophet that had not shown a single powerful evidence then he is a liar.
In general religions are poisons

Mr. Handley is absolutely ignorant and deceptive regarding the nature of Islam from its sacred texts and 1400 year history. He is embarrassing himself in his advancing misinformation. Muhammad taught and practiced jihad which is defined as holy war in Sahih Al-Bukhari's commentary of 9:24 in the Quran. Both the Hadiths and the Qur'an call for fighting the infidel (non-Muslim (9:29). Hadith 2977: "I have been made victorious through terror" -Muhammad. By the way Mr. Handley, Islam means "submission" not "peace", revealing the extent of your ignorance.

Quran (9:5) – "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them."

Quran (9:14) – "Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people."

Quran (9:29) – "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

There is of course, plenty more but this is more than enough to prove that you should shut up, sit down and stop being a traitor to your country and Western Civilization for the sake of virtue signaling to your leftist brethren. God help us from these idiotic fools.

Islam not violent 😁😁😁 death to apostates, adulterers, blasphemers, people who criticise the prophet etc, this guy is a clown

this guy should see the video of young muslim children chanting and singing " we will chop the heads of jews and infidels"
at a mosque in Philadelphia .

Quran (9:14) – "Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people."Humiliating and hurting non-believers not only has the blessing of Allah, but it is ordered as a means of carrying out his punishment and even "heals" the hearts of Muslims.

His argument is nonsense how come he will call Islam as a religion of peace perhaps, this man did not use his common sense and did not open his eyes. All the heinous crimes committed and happened in the world were perpetrated of muslims who killed thousand of innocent civilian young and old alike in the name of their blood thirsty god allah. After bomb himself in the crowded areas and a lot of dead bodies scattered were everywhere then you can hear them shouting praising their blood thirsty god ALLAHU AKBAR, ALLAHU AKBAR. Islam is not a religion but an ideology that teaches hatred, cruelty, deception, lies murder etc.. you can read the teaching of koran that do not trust anybody but only muslim that if you find a non muslim or kapir kill kill them. it teaches taggiya the highest degree of hypocracy that if you are in a company of non muslim show to him your delight show your face with big smile and a happy face but deep in your heart cursed, cursed them.

Didn't even dare to look straightly to the audiences. What a tone of propaganda machine.
Should send him to an Islamic country and try living there as an atheist.

This entire debate is low in standard compared to the arguments someone like David Wood or Sam Harris can present.

What the heck did he study at Oxford? Don't tell me it's history or international relations or religious studies or journalism. Not sure where did he get his Ivory tower Islam. Seriously is this what Oxford does to you? Absolutely nothing from real world in it .

If Islam is a religion of peace then Middle East countries would be the most peaceful place on earth. the Muslim people killed non Muslim people because name of Allah. Islam religion is tainted with the blood of innocents people. .you are support Islamic terrorists attack on non Muslim community. Enjoy your terrorists religion.. People like you are promoting extremist Islam and Brand Ambassador of terrorists organization and misleading youth and Encourage the youth to join terrorist organizations. Shame on you traitor. 👎👎 why you are don't talk about child grooming rape gang,? Or non Muslim Yezadi girls. Your so called religion of peace used those girls as a sex slaves. I guess they girls are also a human being but your Islam treat non Muslim community as a animal. What is our fault? Answer is we are not Muslim. So we have no human rights.

• And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. (Quran 2:191-193)
• I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. (Quran 8:12)
• Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not. (Quran 2:216)


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