Tag Archives: muslim debate initiative

Upcoming Debate: Br. Shadid Lewis and Dr. Andy Bannister


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For further information, please see the Facebook event page as created by Ratio Christi. There is no information as of yet on whether or not there will be a livestream of the debate or the duration till the recording will be made public. As soon as any pertinent details are made aware to us, we’ll update this post and share the relevant information on our social media platforms.

and God knows best.

Dialogue Video: Navigating Differences in Theology – Br. Ijaz and Mr. Alex Kerimli

I recently had a dialogue with my friend and colleague, Mr. Alex Kerimli in Toronto. Today the video of that event is being released. The event was graciously hosted by the i3 Institute, which offers courses for young Muslims in the Greater Toronto Area.

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The event went extremely well and in the end I have to say that I definitely enjoyed my time with Mr. Kerimli. We met a second time following the dialogue and had a second more informal dialogue that would be released in the near future. In the meantime, this dialogue took place in the context of a discussion I have been having with Mr. Kerimli for the past two years. It mainly revolves around the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an’s relationship with both of those books. We explore these relationships, the existence of a possible “Madinian Torah” and other fascinating questions about textual preservation in light of historical evidences.

At the end of the dialogue, it was all smiles from both sides of the theological divide.

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In addition to releasing the video of the dialogue I am also including my PowerPoint presentation slides in PDF form. There are two versions of these slides. There is the original presentation as I used it in the dialogue. Following the event I noted that there was a miscitation of a quote from Mark, instead of Mark 4:15 I accidentally put Mark 4:20. There was also another miscitation, instead of Pslam 40:6-8, I wrote Isaiah 40:6-8. Along with that error, I also clarified my use of terms in the table comparing the contents of the Shema in the Gospels and the Septuagint editions. To be fair, I am releasing both the original version with the errors and the corrected version for clarity. I will follow up with Mr. Kerimli to see if he would be willing to do the same.

Here is the dialogue video:

and Allah knows best.

 

Debate Video: Was Jesus the Son of God or Only the Prophet of God – Br. Ijaz Ahmad & Dr. Tony Costa

Alhamdulillah!

The debate video has been added to our ‘Debates page‘, and is available on YouTube:

I’ve received a ton of positive feedback about the debate. There are a number of reviews expected to be published soon. The following review is from a Muslim YouTube user who watched all of the debates from the Trinity Channel’s Debate Marathon, featuring Dr. Shabir Ally, David Wood, Dr Costa and myself, he says:

I just found this channel, and during the past week or so watched all these debates against Muslims.

As a Muslim convert from Christianity, I must say that the Christians on here are good at debating but they do it in a slick way. That is that they always take the Qur’an and twist it back onto the Muslim by saying things like “According to your book, blah blah blah.”

This debate was the best one so far because Ijaz went into it know this was going to happen and in his initial statement didn’t even mention the Qur’an and used just Christian ideology to make his point. I was thinking that we would finally get a good discussion going.

Unfortunately, right in the first rebuttal, the Christian side went right into the same tactics as in all the previous debates. This is what made this one feel like a big rehash of the previous week.

Another popular Muslim author, and convert from Christianity, Br. Abu Zakariya of Many Prophets One Message posted on Facebook:

A big congratulations to our brother Ijaz Ahmad on last night’s debate with Dr. Tony Costa. It was a resounding victory for Ijaz, despite lacking the academic credentials and decades of experience that his opponent possesses.

May Allah increase Ijaz in goodness. Ameen.

One other mini-review which took place directly after the debate, is as follows by our esteemed and scholastic, Br. Mansur:

Dr. Costa misunderstood your arguments. He misunderstood the topic of the debate. Perhaps he had not given enough thought on the subject. It is strange indeed to see his logic at play here. Suppose the debate title was: ‘ Is the Qur’an the word of God’ or ‘is Muhammad a Prophet of God?’ Merely quoting the Qur’an or the early followers of Islam, or even contemporary non-Muslims who stated this belief of Muslims does not prove any of these propositions. Dr. Costa presumed wrongly that the debate was ‘ Does the Bible claim that Jesus is the son of God or …’. I can accept that the laity can be a victim of poor comprehension on this but I don’t expect that from learned individuals.

The approach I took in this debate has piqued the interest of the inter-faith dialogue community. I chose not to use the historical/ Biblical interpretation route (Son of God has many meanings). Rather, I accepted that my opponent believes that Jesus was God/ the Son of God. From that, I argued based on the philosophy of religion and on the ontology (nature of his God), that Jesus did not meet or fulfill the criteria of God (defined in the debate as a maximally perfect being).

In other words, I asked very important questions. If Jesus is God, does he demonstrate the qualities of a deity? Do the beliefs of Christians regarding the Son of God’s place in the Trinity, make any sense? Are those beliefs consistent, are they rational? Do they contain heretical teachings? Do Christians appeal to heresies to defend the Trinity?

P1: If the beliefs about the Son of God by Christians are inconsistent and irrational, then Jesus is not the Son of God.

P2: The beliefs about the Son of God by Christians are inconsistent and irrational.

C: Therefore Jesus is not the Son of God.

The debate was absolutely wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with Dr. Costa, and I was very much pleased with the outcome. Quite a lot of Muslims thanked me for introducing these arguments, and for not repeating the same arguments that have traditionally been used for debates about this topic since time immemorial. I always try to introduce new information, new arguments, new research when I debate. The goals are to raise and advance the level of intellectual discourse, to discuss the fundamental and essential beliefs about our respective faiths, and finally to educate the public.

May Allah reward all those who take their time to watch the debate, Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

Debate Release: What is the True Faith of Jesus’ Disciples – Br. Ijaz vs Rev. Steven Martins

We’re happy to announce that the first debate between myself and Rev. Steven has been published online. The topic, “What is the True Faith of Jesus’ Disciples?,” featured a lot of discussion on the early Christology of the proto-orthodox Christian tradition. There was also discussion on the New Testament manuscript tradition however the Reverend chose not to pursue that course of argument (I had with me several papyrological studies on hand but the debate did not follow that path). The claim that the disciples were eyewitnesses or the authors of the NT textual tradition was deeply discussed and the Reverend makes quite the statement during the debate, “it’s all hypothetical!,” which then led to some even more interesting remarks.

I focused on the chains of transmission as claimed by Church tradition, and examined them in light of the deutero-canonical traditions, the results would surprise many. I also compared and contrasted several “claims” by the early Church fathers as to from whom they took their testimony from about Christ, which led to quite a major contradiction given Papias’ witness. All in all, this was an extremely enjoyable debate and the audio is 100% clear. Again, I’d like to thank Br. Haseeb from IBN for the recording, Br. Asad (of Motorway Hall) and the MYTT for hosting the event, Br. Nazam for stitching the video together and then uploading to his channel, Pastor Kris for moderating the event and especially Rev. Steven for being my gracious interlocutor. The event was extremely well attended and I must thank the community for their participation.

Enjoy the recording!

and Allah knows best.

 

Release: A Critical Analysis of Jay Smith’s Mistakes About the Qur’an [Update]

Update: I have been made aware that some persons are unable to access the paper via Scribd, you can therefore click this link and download the PDF directly: Response to Jay Smith’s Mistakes.

All Praise is due to Allah alone. The paper has undergone some minor changes, which are listed in the paper under the title of, “Structure of the Paper”. A formatting error for some headers were corrected, especially for Appendix B.

and Allah knows best.

Originally Published: 12/11/14, 6:46 a.m.

Debate Video Release: Samuel Green vs Ijaz Ahmad – “An Incarnate God: Fact or Fiction”

Here’s the debate video from our Paltalk debate which took place last night between Pastor Samuel Green and I. It’s just about two hours and the audio is quite clear and consistent. Two edits were made, there was a lot of technical sorting out at the beginning (mic testing etc) and the Pastor clarifying the time not to be used during his pre-Opening Speech’s Introduction. The audio gaps of 10 seconds or so were not removed, this occurred when the speakers were changed and I decided to leave them in as it set a good pace and tone for the event.

It hasn’t even been more than a day and we’re already releasing the debate! Much thanks to the room recorder, Br. Abdul Wadud (a fellow Trinidadian Uncle), without his hardwork, dedication and efforts, we would not have been able to release the debate this quickly.

Much thanks to Pastor Samuel and Sr. Waduha who worked through the Day Light Savings time error and allowed us to amicably decide on how to have proceeded with the night’s event. There is one point of note, this is the first debate against a Muslim speaker in which Pastor Samuel chose not to speak off topic on the alleged corruption of the Qur’aan, I’m not sure if this is because he’s found it useless given his discussions with me on it, or if he simply didn’t have the time to do so, either way, it’s a good sign of the intensity and excitement that the discussion carried.

wa Allaahu ‘alam.

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