Yesterday, BBC World aired a debate entitled “Europe is failing its Muslims”. Although the teams on either side of the motion were made up of two people, this debate was basically Tariq Ramadan (arguing for the motion) versus Douglas Murray (arguing against the motion). The debate seems to be available on YouTube.
At one point Murray (whose tag team partner was Flemming Rose) suggested that being European and Muslim wasn’t possible at the same time, and made some blather about European values. It’s a shame no one asked Murray to explain whether these ‘values’ included the use, and covering up of, torture and the fascination with mindless warfare on others to spread your own ‘values’. And perhaps it would have been interested if Rose, who declared himself a believer in ‘universal human rights’, how he felt sitting alongside someone who has spent a lot of time attacking the Human Rights Act.
There were also the usual, and mindless, arguments about how great it was to be a Muslim in Britain compared to, say, Saudi Arabia. Who cares what they do in Saudi?
In the end the audience voted against the motion, although I don’t think this meant people supported Murray. For example, one of the audience members — a former British diplomat to an Arab country who also used to work for the Muslim West Facts Project — also objected to the motion, but noted that his reasons for doing so would probably differ to those being promoted by Murray. I felt that even Rose, who would usually be cast as an anti-Muslim bigot (Zeinab Badawi certainly did her best to constantly remind the audience of his claim to fame), came off better than Murray.