I do see a video with these same two gentlemen debating over the Book of Rome, so I will be taking a look at that one soon. Search this blog for the name David Wood to see previous related posts.
From the Youtube description: In this Debate, David Wood and Shabir Ally debate one of the most important topic in history. This debate took place on October 5th (2015) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on the topic: Is the Qur’an a Book of Peace?”
Title: Is the Qur’an a Book of Peace? David Wood vs Shabir Ally (YT link) Uploaded by Seasoned Apologist.
David Wood Vs Shabir Ally – Is The Koran A Book Of Peace? – (2015) 4 stars
Run time: 2 hours, 11 minutes. This debate goes on for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. A question and answer session with the audience begins after that. Wood is an excellent debater based on several posts I have featuring him. Ally I am not too familiar with, but according to Wood he is one of the best pro-Muslim debaters in the world. Here are my impressions from this debate.
Ally from the start mentions that the violence of Biblical figures has deliberately been toned down to present Islam as a peaceful religion. Note that Islam has no historical figures of its own. Instead this relatively recent religion has usurped characters from another already established religion, in this case Judaism. By recent, I mean Common Era compared to Before Common Era.
58 minutes in – Ally states that as evidence, Wood used the interpretation of a man who lived nearly three hundred years after Mohammed. How is this different than what Mohammed did by usurping Christian theology for his own ends? If you go by the false Biblical historical timeline (1400 – 1200 BCE), that means Mohammed (7th century CE) plagiarized stories from nearly two thousand years before his time. If you go by the actual dates of the rise of Judaism (500 – 400 BCE), that still gives us 1,000 years of difference. So Wood’s reference is more valid and relevant than Mohammed’s theft of the fables from another long-standing religion. And then Ally questions whether or not Wood’s rebuttal is authentic?
1:20 – Ally really buries himself in his final rebuttal. First, he sticks with this idea that Westernized scholar John Burton can interpret the Koran better than early Muslims. Earlier, he accused Wood of using verses to trigger an emotional response. What does Ally do now? He very stupidly makes the allusion that Wood is siding with ISIS and other Muslim terrorist groups, in order to convert members of the audience toward Christianity. I haven’t heard how Wood responds to this yet, but clearly Ally has imploded and is making a baseless personal attack on Wood and a horribly stupid mistake by saying in general that some people are happy when terrorists kill civilians. Also, Ally has basically tossed every interpretation of Koran verses after the time of Mohammed out the window, because allegedly they are not the original words of Allah. This discredits many of his previous arguments because he has been using later interpretations the whole time in this debate.
1:24 – Ally buries himself again. Earlier, he accused Wood of picking and choosing his verses. Now, Ally names a Western scholar and cherry picks his material, while at the same time saying he has a lot of problems with this man’s interpretation. You can’t have it both ways. Saying a scholar got something right while having reservations about the rest of that scholar’s conclusions has nothing to do with the topic of whether or not the Koran is a book of peace.
Conclusion: In his arguments, Wood used historical references and the views of early Muslims, including cousins of Mohammed. Ally used the opinions of mostly modern Western scholars to argue his case, basically ignoring everything that happened around the time of Mohammed, and the writings of people who were Mohammed’s contemporaries. Wood gave context. Ally did not.
What about the topic? Is Islam, which really does mean Submit, a religion of peace or not? If you sugarcoat it like Ally does, with a Western, watered down slant, I can say that he makes a few good points. Especially in the way Islam portrays the heroic, fictional characters from the Book of Rome. However, taking that point of view means discarding too many historical interpretations from pro-Muslim sources and sweeping them under the rug. The terrorists acts of Muslims worldwide today can be traced back to this one book, the Koran, and the way these terrorists interpret it is the same way the original Muslim sources say is the correct way.
You don’t submit to peace, you submit to force. That’s what the book says and that’s what we see in the attitudes of Muslim leaders today, who are not radical but fundamentalist in their stances. It all boils down to what the false prophet said, which is basically ‘beat the Christians and Jews down until they submit and pay us to stop.’ Everything else is just fluff to fill up yet another book of lies. The idea of submit or else you will suffer is the bottom line, as evidenced by what Muslim fundamentalists are doing around world today in many countries. No, the Koran is not a book of peace.