Andrew Wheatcroft, a historian and the Director of the Centre for Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling in Scotland; John Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University; and Sarah Joseph, editor of EMEL magazine, a lifestyle magazine with a Muslim focus, spoke against the motion.
The debate, held on May 18, 2004, was chaired by Anne McElvoy, Executive Editor and political columnist of the Evening Standard newspaper.
Intelligence Squared is London's leading forum for live debate, holding regular debates on the crucial issues of the day and inviting the leading intellectual and political lights on the given subject to participate in them. The format of the debates is modeled on the one employed at the Oxford and Cambridge university Unions: a challenging, sharply defined motion; a team of speakers to propose the motion and a like number to oppose it; and a moderator to keep the speakers and the audience in order and force everyone to stick to the issues. After the main speeches and before summation, contributions are asked from the floor: audience participation is a key feature of the occasion, providing a rare opportunity for the public to voice their opinions and to challenge those of the speakers. A vote is taken before the debate begins and then again at the end so as to give a measure, often a very dramatic one, of the extent to which the audience has been swayed by the oratory and arguments of the speakers in the course of the evening.
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An entertaining debate with a balanced discussion from many sides of the religion. The experts that agree that "Islam is Incompatible with Democracy" come away with the greatest credibility and the Jewish expert, Mr. Isreali, is very humorous while making his point. An informative listen for everyone.
A great debate with very well informed participants. It raised one of the important issues of today to which which one would have thought the Bush administration had given some serious thought. Well worth the listen for anyone interested in this most relevant issue
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