Ed stifling debate again

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Azad Ali at Islamic Forum Europe on yet another example of Ed Husain dictating to the media, and to various Islamic organisations, as to who he will and won’t appear alongside on a panel. He claims that letting them on is giving them the oxygen of publicity; he only seems to want to speak to adulatory interviewers.

The mainstream media have not acceded to his demands; it seems that Islamic organisations and media are not so courageous. The most recent involves the Islam Channel, which invited Ed and Azad Ali to their “Politics and Media” show:

As it turned out, Ed was not happy to be on a live show with me. His voice broke, his face screwed up with disdain, and the whites of his eyes were plain to see as he retorted, “I’m not going on if he is”.

Ed was apparently upset at my previous post about him, Maajid and Hasan Butt on this blog. I assured him that he had nothing to fear, and that if he truly believed what he said - why not debate them? After all, I had no hard feelings about Ed calling me an ‘extremist’ on national television!

All to no avail. After Ed threatened to walk away, the presenter decided that he would rather have Ed on the show than me, and herein lies the folly of ‘enagement’ - or to be more precise, conditional engagement! It seems that Ed will only ‘engage’ on his terms. That is, Inayat Bunglawala (the co-presenter) cannot be present, nor anyone else who can counter his arguments! So much for democratic debate.

And this is not the first time that Inayat has been ‘sacrificed’. At the recent ‘Living Islam’ camp (by ISB), Ed was also a guest panellist in the ‘Question Time’ debate. His appearance was again apparently conditional on Inayat Bunglawala’s absence from the panel.

Some people are speculating that people might be keen on getting funding, so they allow themselves to be seen with this clown while sacrificing genuine workers for the Muslim community. Surely some of these organisations do actually answer to a Muslim membership, or to commercial interests who depend on Muslims’ money, so why is nobody putting pressure to bear on them? It is ridiculous that they allow themselves to be bullied by a nobody whose claims have already been rubbished.

I suggest that, any time he appears in front of an audience on a Muslim medium, the crowd boo him, or challenge his every claim, particularly if he is obviously being allowed to put his point of view unchallenged. (This could be done with other live with-audience appearances, in fact.) I also suggest writing letters to these organisations and threatening to boycott their conferences. There is a big difference between being conciliatory and being a traitor, and we all know which side Ed is on. While I do not advocate silencing him completely, he certainly should be vigorously challenged.

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