I will be taking part in two debates this week, one organised by the Literary and Debating Society at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and the other hosted by the Philosophical Society in University College Dublin.
The Galway debate is ‘Is Islam a religion of Peace?’ and it starts at 7pm on Thursday 9 October (at the Kirwan, NUI, Galway).
The Dublin debate is ‘Does a god exist?’ and it starts at 7pm on Friday 10 October (in FitzGerald Chamber, Student Centre, UCD).
Both debates will involve speakers from outside the traditional Irish Christian consensus, including Islam, Hinduism and atheism, and should provide useful new perspectives for anybody attending.
The speakers at the NUI Galway debate are:
- Shaykh Dr Umar al-Qadri of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre
- Dr Oliver Scharbrodt, Prof of Islamic Studies at the University of Chester
- Abdullah al Andalusi, co-founder of the Muslim Debate Initiative
- Mr Michael Nugent, Chairman of Atheist Ireland
- Mr Ian O’Doherty, journalist at the Irish Independent
- Dr Mark Humphrys, lecturer at Dublin College University (DCU) and writer on religion and politics
The speakers for the UCD Dublin debate are:
- Swami Purnananda, of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum (who is a Hindu)
- Michael Nugent, Chairman of Atheist Ireland