Yesterday I reported on the IQ2 debate, which is on tonight, and provided a link to the opening salvo from Daniel Pipes one of the speakers for the positive. Today, for fairness, I’m providing a link from Waleed Aly one of the speakers for the negative.

The people are speaking: democratic Islam is no contradiction

Waleed cites some polls that indicate Muslims believe democracy could work in their countries. However, his closing statement is not overly encouraging.

Let the status quo not fool us: a huge gulf exists between the authoritarian regimes of the Muslim world and the democratic aspirations of its people.

For someone on the opposing side of the debate, Waleed’s comment is very similar to Daniel’s.

This is an interesting style of debate, where comments from either side are provided before the event.

If anyone attends this debate tonight and would like to provide their comments or write a review, please leave a short note on the comments here. I’ll get back to you via email to provide details on how you can be a guest blogger.

Waleed Aly wrote another article yesterday titled:  War without freedom, which discussed the plight of women in Afghanistan. The war was supposed to get rid of the Taliban and give women in Afghanistan their freedom, and rights,  back. However, this doesn’t seem to have occurred, as Waleed reports:

A recent report … concluded that Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman.

Whilst the West’s ill-advised invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq has not cured all the ills of those countries, I don’t think you can lay the blame for the mistreatment of women on them. The underlying adherence to Islamic laws is more likely to be the cause. So it’s a pity that Waleed made no reference to Islam in his article.

As John Strahan succinctly said in his letter to the editor:

It’s all too easy to blame the West, but real courage is required to reform centuries-old religious beliefs that are too often misused as an excuse for barbarism.

One of the problems following the invasions was to let these countries to continue to enshrine Islamic laws into their governments and legal systems. As John Perkins wrote in a letter to the editor:

The major problem in both post-invasion Afghanistan and Iraq has been the failure to implement secular safeguards that protect human rights.

Well that’s all from me for now, hopefully I’ll get some feedback, or a review, of tonight’s IQ2 debate which can then be posted tomorrow.

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