Monday, January 31, 2005

ISLAM: $50,000 Debate - A response to Mr. Ali Sina

+ How can you say: "I am not here to tell the people what path they should choose. I leave that to them to decide" and then you contradict yourself by dictating that they should not choose the path of ISLAM as you later say "nor would I accept your right to believe in it"? This indicates that you are confused on the fundamental basis of your argument. +


$50,000 Debate - Here is my response to Mr. Ali Sina

The previous responses can be viewed here

Please note where I have used bold and italics inside quotes to highlight Mr. Sina's quotations in his previous response.

a) You (Ali Sina) say that I must take your word as being the judicator as well as the opponent, oh really! This is surely a laughable and a farcical position, it is like saying one of boxers in the ring should also be the referee. Then expect the other boxer to
take his word when the final scoring is done! Is this how you understand objectivity and fair play? Or is this coming from your "logiISLAM: $50,000 Debate - Here is my response to Mr. Ali Sina calgun"? This reminds me of one my recent debate with a 'disciple' of yours who after a while started to delete my email response without reading them (by his own admission) and kept sending me his rants and outbursts.

Rather, this demonstrates that you are not serious about the money and you are using it to get cheap publicity. Since you want to be the final judicator, for sure you are not "gambling" with anything but standing on "very shaky ground of faith" in fear of my "logical gun" that any impartial observer would easily see applying basic common sense! It also demonstrates arrogance on your part thinking that you can be Judge, Jury and Executioner all at the same time. Perhaps this is our first glimpse into your "position of logics and truth" that you so proudly boast about!

What I proposed was FAIR – We appoint or agree on judicator(s) and I would like to further propose that we have a binding contract through our solicitors who will hold the money into a neutral account. We should limit the number of exchanges then the judicators should pronounce the verdict. In the UK we have a saying "put your money
where your mouth is". Please clarify this important point.

b) You say the following with respect to providing mankind an alternative to Islam:

"Yes, I do have a better alternative to Islam but I am not here to tell people what path they should choose. I leave that to them to decide."

You have a mysterious alternative but you do not elaborate on this at all although this is exactly what I asked for in my first email. This is Deja vou for me. In any case, from the above one line 'elaboration' your alternative seems to be rather contradictory. What if the people decided to choose the path of ISLAM by your criterion of letting people decide freely? Then by your 'logic' your opposition is not to the ideas of ISLAM as long as they have exercised their free choice in selecting that path. But, then you contradict yourself when you later deny that right of free choice as you say: "nor would I accept your right to believe in it" i.e. Islam. You sound a like a confused personstanding on "very shaky ground of faith and conjecture".

How can you say: "I am not here to tell the people what path they should choose. I leave that to them to decide" and then you contradict yourself by dictating that they should not choose the path of ISLAM as you later say "nor would I accept your right to believe in it"? This indicates that you are confused on the fundamental basis of your argument.

Furthermore, when invoking criticism by rational necessity you must have what is right in your mind to criticise with in the first place. Otherwise you are like a masked man that calls everyone else ugly!

HENCE PLEASE NOTE: We do need a comprehensive elaboration on your alternative to pursue a serious debate as we can only get meaningful discussion when you know what each side stands for – this is particularly vital for the audience.

And it seems you fear to provide alternative as you will end up contradicting yourself just like I have already demonstrated, as it is self-evident from your statements.

c) You then go on to say "Almost anything is better than Islam". So surely you must have a set of values to judge Islam by otherwise it is empty rhetoric typical of a bigot, blinded by hate. To classify something as evil or good you need define and elaborate your criteria of assessing good and evil. Something is not evil simply because you
say so!

You refer to the crimes of the Second World War. By your criterion of letting people to choose freely, there should be no objection if they chose the likes of Hitler again! So what exactly are you espousing Mr Sina? Again does this not show you are indeed a confused man or a woman? Or is that your position on "logic and truth"! Please elaborate on the above points explain what you exactly mean.

d) You then state:

"However, I made a search with your name and read a few passages of your articles and gave up on that illusion very soon. I am afraid your heart is filled with Islamic hate and you have no regards for truth, fairness, love and mankind."

It is difficult fathom why you want to engage in a debate with me and yet you confess that you do not want read my views as you say "read few passages of your articles and gave up"! It appears to me that you have made up your mind even before engaging in the debate. Is that how you intend to debate? Please clarify this important point. Furthermore, you pass judgments ("Islamic hate", "truth", "love", "twisted sense of morality") on me without elaborating on what those terms mean by referring to my articles but of course you cannot because you have not read them! Is this not a clear evidence of blind-fanaticism of the type espoused by the likes of Hitler?

You claim my "twisted sense of morality" with no examples or elaboration but then why don't you state and define your so-called "morality". There is no need to be shy! We want to get a glimpse of the religion according to Prophet (or read as Profit) Ali Sina after we leave Islam. So, please elaborate on your morality and we will be
looking forward to seeing this.

But wait - According to your earlier stated criteria, truth, hate morality are all subjective as you said let people decide freely! So now what ABSOLUTE 'morals' are you HYPOCRITCALLY trying to lecture me with? This all sounds like a position of someone talking from a position of "belief and irrationality" standing on "very shaky ground of faith and conjecture".

e) You then go on to make a lot of allegations using terms like "evil", "humanity", "savagery", "rape", "innocent", "murder" etc without defining and elaborating them, and the basis from which those are derived. You also say:

"Each one of us is free to make any assumption that he pleases but he must be able to prove that assumption or withdraw it. I think this is fair."

Charges are normally brought against someone in a court of law where the criteria of determining crime and punnishemnt already exist and are agreed upon. However in a debate across different ideologies we need to agree on the criteria and the definitions of the terms before we can determine the respective allegations. Otherwise they are mere "assumptions" or "accusations" herald from a premise not recognised by the other and vice versa. Hence, by rational necessity this is a prerequisite before you can establish the truth of your allegation. To illustrate the point here are two examples which you yourself touched upon.

We consider those who engage in beheading en masse by the use of Napalm, B52s and Cluster bombs etc are the real "subhumans". Those US soldiers in Abu-Ghraib, Fallujah and elsewhere "engaging in senseless acts of terror" behaving like real "monsters, beasts and vampires". As for the Iraqis they are merely the heroic resistance fighters defending their lands by whatever means they have at their disposal. Let us not forget the US is in Iraq not the reverse. So you see we are at odds as to what is meant by the term "subhuman" and the other terms, and how they are applied. Similarly, we can call someone a "murderer" but according which laws is he or she has committed the crime?

Another example we consider Homosexuality, Adultery, Rape, Bestiality, Sadism, Incest, Necrophilia, Snuff Sex, and many other deviant forms of sexual practices as understood from Islamic texts are crimes punishable in Islam. But these practices seem perfectly acceptable to many of the freethinkers around us, and in accordance to your criteria of letting people decide freely. Similarly you may levy certain charges against me using your definitions of certain terms. Hence we must agree on the criteria, definitions then we can proceed to evaluate your allegations.

Mr Sina, as I stated earlier this is not going to be a debate about Islam or nothing but Islam and the alternative as you said you have a "better alternative". By rational necessity this has to be the case as issuing criticism by definition means there are criteria for making that judgement. It seems you (Mr. Sina) simply want to sit and levy
charges against Islam without elaborating your "better alternative" in fear of exposing yourself. So that others can put your "better alternative" to the docks as much you are doing to Islam. Avoiding this tantamount to intellectual defeat, like the man who wears a mask and calls everyone else ugly but his so-called "better alternative" is
kept hidden under the mask because it is in reality very grotesque. Hence, this is important for our viewers to see objectively both sides of the arguments, so that they may know what "better alternative" that they are getting into after leaving ISLAM.

Of course when we get to the actual debate after you clarified these above points, it would be constructive you and others to keep to one of subject at a time rather than go off at a tangent on many otherissues. I see that in your enthusiasm you have touched a lot of subjects no doubt you will get an opportunity so please be patient.

You need not worry about telling me about publishing my response, as not only I have a website but huge email database and my articles regularly appear on many websites and newspapers. Issuing suck petty threats like a school boy does not bother me so do not waste your time going down that venue. If you do not publish my response the readers will "interpret this as your lack of confident in your ability to win
this debate".

Email to from Yamin Zakaria who write from London, UK

London, UK