I’ve been asked by several persons who listened to the webcast of Dividing Line to give a few comments on my thoughts of the events which occurred during the show. Personally, I don’t have much to say about the discussion, but I’m willing to give a little background and explain a few details.
Sheikh Awal is currently in Trinidad and Tobago, my home country. He’s here to give a few workshops and lectures. I met him on Wednesday night, which was unplanned to be honest until a chance call earlier in the day. In the end, I got a chance interview with him. It’s about 7 minutes long and we didn’t have time to discuss much, so he summarized for the public consumption, the events which led up to the cancellation of his debate with James White.
I posted the interview and sometime Thursday evening, I got an email from James indicating he’d be playing the interview on his show and declaring debate challenges to the both of us. It was at that time I decided to call in. James has a very unfortunate habit of discussing persons without them being present. Case in point, he argues against Shaykh Deedat quite often. That’s an easy argument, the Shaykh is dead, he can no longer respond thus James can argue what he wants, how he wants – he won’t be getting a response from Shaykh Deedat. That’s obviously something I find quite distasteful, quite incredulous. In calling in, I decided I would speak my mind as clearly as I could on this aspect of James’ ministerial methodology.
I called the Dividing Line twice, the first time it was to indicate to Richard (of AO Min) that I would be calling in after the interview had aired to discuss with James his disagreements. I called again when I realised James was taking a bit too long to get to the crux of the interview, and waited about 7 minutes until my credit on my phone was depleted. Richard called me back and said they’d put me live when James was ready to have me on. Doubts occurred as the hour mark drew close, for if his show runs for one hour, how could they have me on it after their airing time was complete? Fortunately they called me on the hour’s mark and that’s when our chat began.
James’ speaking methodology is different to mines. I’m often laid back and non-confrontational, but James is the opposite. He’s a dominating speaker, a confident speaker. In order to match his tone, his approach and his accusations, I also had to attempt to dominate the conversation and steer it in a mutually beneficial direction, as opposed to James speaking over me. That worked brilliantly, as in the end, I got my say in and even got him to bring Shamoun on the air for a solid few minutes of heated one on one discussion and debate. What really pleased me though was their inability to get me to discredit any of my comrades, namely Br. Snow and Br. Awal. Conversely, James ensured that he distanced himself from the antics of Wood and Shamoun, even criticising them on air – hopefully Br. Snow will produce clips of this for his YouTube channel to aid in our back and forths with Shamoun and company.
What I was most content with, was being able to get Sheikh Awal’s debate published within one day of the interview. This was the goal and praise be to God, it was achieved in a timely manner, without much difficulty. In the end though, I possibly also got a free book out of it, as James agreed to send me a copy of his book, “The Forgotten Trinity”. However, he has failed to reply to my email in my request for an update in receiving this book. I’ll consider it for now that he is busy and as such, he’ll eventually reply to it and send me the book which I’ve been unable to access otherwise as I’d honestly like to read it.
I’d like to thank James for setting everything up and I look forward to our debate in London. Thanks for watching/ listening to the discussion, I hope that good comes from these inter-faith dialogues. Here’s the link to the show, I call in about the hour mark.
and God knows best.