Freedom of speech or right to insult? Part 2 of my dialogue with Abdullah al Andalusi at UCD

I recently discussed freedom of speech or right to insult with Abdullah al Andalusi at the Islamic Society in University College Dublin. This is part 2, an open discussion between us on the issue. The opening contributions are in the video below; the audience Q&A will be online soon.

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  1. Overall he seems like a reasonable fellow.

    Regarding the last point of sexism and whether we should allow sexist ideas because sex/gender is not immutable (transgender operations): my opinion is that as long as there is no harm to the person then you can say what you want. The issues with sexism isn’t whether people don’t like you, or object to your ideas, but whether you are discriminated against in real objective ways. Are you less likely to get a pay rise because of your sex? Are you less likely to have access to your children because of your sex? Etc. These are real affects on people’s lives and this is where the harm from sexism comes.

    So in answer to his last point about sexism and his equating it with religious belief: As long as someone doesn’t discriminate against another person based on their sex/gender or their religion then that is where I draw the distinction.

  2. I found your opponent to be rather annoying. I was particularly irritated when he brought up the old, worn “colonialist” argument. If the muslim areas of the indian subcontinent cannot, in 65 years, change the laws from those of the colonialists’ legacy when the non-muslim parts could, then that tells us something about how restrictive Islam is to progress.

    Well done Michael, I always enjoy how you can keep on track and not get muddled by the nonsense thrown at you. I could never think fast enough to be a debater.

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