Buzzed Belief Debate:
The Future of Islam in the Age of Trump
This year's "Buzzed Belief Debate" will feature Asra Nomani, presenting from a religious position, and Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, presenting from a secular perspective. Their debate, focused on The Future of Islam in the Age of Trump, will be moderated by public speaker and internet personality, Matt Dillahunty. What common values do we share? What points are divisive? We promote no agenda other than entertainment, education and a respectful tolerance of opposing viewpoints. Our debate format is as follows:
Part I: Opposing Views
Opening presentations from each debater.
Part II: A Friendly Discussion
Moderated by Dillahunty, Al-Mutar and Nomani will engage in a conversation -
addressing one another's points from the opening presentations, debating openly and freely.
Part III: Audience Participation
Q&A from the audience.
about The debaters
Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar
Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is an Iraqi-born human-rights activist and writer who received asylum in the United States in 2013. He is the founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement (GSHM) and Secular Post and works with Movements.org to assist dissidents in closed societies worldwide.
During his time growing up in Iraq, Al-Mutar's writings and secular western lifestyle made him a target for threats and attacks by al-Qaeda. He has survived three attempted kidnappings and has received death threats from the al-Qaeda-tied Mahdi Army. Al-Mutar lost his eldest brothers, his cousin and best friend in the civil war in Iraq due to Al Qaeda's sectarian violence.
A writer/blogger at the The Huffington Post and a columnist for Free Inquiry Magazine, Al-Mutar has been tapped into for commentary by everything from The New York Times, The Guardian and The Washington Post to BBC World News. He has spoken in front of crowds at MIT, Google, Harvard and Columbia University.
Al-Mutar maintains that the only way to ensure and maintain religious freedom is to have a separation of Mosque and State or Church and State.
Asra Nomani is a journalist who taught journalism at Georgetown University and is also co-director of the Pearl Project, an investigative-reporting project looking into the kidnapping and murder of her former colleague, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The project was published by the Center for Public Integrity.
Nomani is the author of two books, Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam and Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love. She is also the author of numerous articles, including "Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Bedroom", the "Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Mosque."
She was a friend and colleague of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was staying with her in Karachi with his wife when he was abducted and later murdered by Islamic militants in January 2002.
Nomani has been hailed by the New York Times for her "Rosa Parks-style activism" standing up for women's rights to pray and lead prayer in typically male-only or male-led environments.