Freedom of speech or right to insult? Part 1 of my dialogue with Abdullah al Andalusi at UCD

I discussed freedom of speech or right to insult with Abdullah al Andalusi at the Islamic Society in University College Dublin yesterday. These are the opening contributions; discussion and Q&A to follow.

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  1. Pictures of Muhammad used to be in cigarette packets, without any great complaints from Muslims.

    Pictures of the Prophets are on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, without any complaints from Muslims. The Sistine Chapel even has depictions of God and Adam without Muslims crying blasphemy.

    Muslims themselves used to depict Muhammad.

    People often say that when religious people do bad things, it is because they are using religion for political purposes.

    Well, don’t let people use religion for political purposes.

    Complaints about pictures of Muhammad are done for political purposes. Blasphemy laws are political laws.

  2. I don’t agree with all he said but I thought he made some interesting points. How did the post-debate Q&A go?

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