The Chatham House Debate: Should Religion be Separate from State?

Alhamdulillah, as promised, the full video of my debate at Chatham House, on the topic ‘Should Religion be Separate from State?’ is now available to watch online.

Once again, jazakAllah khairun to all those who made your dua for a good outcome.

Points to Note:

The debate title (obviously) wasn’t on any particular religion, nor any state system, but was rather on the principle of whether religion and state should be separate or not.

Although the debate was much shorter than previous ones I’ve participated in, alhamdulillah we had enough time to convince people to see that if Separation of Religion is taken to its logical conclusion, peoples rights will not be safe, nor would religious minorities ever be protected from the Secular nationalism/culture of the majority (e.g. India, France etc.

I was able to briefly mention that the Islamic system guaranteed the best rights to minorities that even the modern day West – since Islam allows non-Muslims to their own legal system, even police force (e.g. the Orthodox Christian Patriarch of Istanbul, ruled Ottoman Christians and even had his own jail for criminals in the Christian community[!]

However, while the audience were almost all non-Muslim (maybe two Muslims maximum), they were able to see that the State and Religion must have connection, as to have a state without connection to religion is extremism.

Lastly, in case many of you watching don’t know the situation with U.K. My Secular debate opponent DOESN’T consider the UK a Secular country (because the Church of England is established by the state, Church of England Ecclesiastical courts have a jurisdiction recognised by English law, and 33 Anglican Bishops have guaranteed seats in the UK legislative branch). The Queen is also head of the Church, and head of the State.

That’s why UK Secularists have a problem with the UK (incase many of you were wondering why they criticise the ?UK).

The audience came round, I believe, when they realised that even in the (most of the) West, religion and state are not entirely separate – as the consequences would be serious against people’s religious rights.

The Muslim Debate Initiative

On Thursday 7th December 2017, MDI’s Abdullah al Andalusi, was invited by the internationally renown  think tank , Chatham House’ [The Royal Institute of International Affairs], to a debate the title ‘Should Religion be Separate from State?’.

Chatham House was established in 1920, and is a world renown policy institute. It is Ranked the world’s most influential (non-U.S.) Think Tank, and second most influential Think Tank worldwide after the Brookings Institute (2016 Global Go To Think Tank Inbex Report, University of Pennsylvania).

The debate was decided by seeing which speakers managed to change the most minds by the end of the debate, and concluded in more minds going to the side of Religion not being Separate from the State. The debate was rather shorter compared to other debates, and we think that makes the voting result and conclusion, a great achievement al-hamdu’lillah.

The other speakers were Andrew Copson, director of…

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1 reply

  1. Good one Brother!
    I have repeatedly stated not one single western democracy is secular in the real sense of the word and that the claim of being secular is a farce as its unreal. Not UK , US or even France who repeatedly claim secularity. All of these nations and many like them have have an obviously Christian outlook but only claim secularism to further their various mostly hegemonic agenda and interests.

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