You can watch the debate here.
You can watch my full post-debate analysis and commentary here.
Here is my summary of the Sharia vs Human Rights debate with Sultan.
My argument had three main claims:
1. Liberal Human Rights creates massive structural inequality and dominance of the majority of the world by a few rich nations in North America and Western Europe (Botswana Question).
2. Liberal Human Rights is extremist because it only recognizes individual freedom and equality above all else. But this extremism destroys marriage, family, community, and the human race itself (Balance Question)
3. Liberal Human Rights is antithetical to every traditional religion and culture, not just Islam. As such, it has only been spread throughout the world via brutal colonialism and neocolonialism to force people to adopt it while abandoning their “primitive” ways of life (Colonial Question).
I supported these 3 points with numerous stats and examples while also showing how Sharia is on the opposite side on all these 3 issues, but especially in terms of having balance. Yes, Islam values personal freedom and equality, but there are other important principles that sometimes come at the expense of freedom and equality but are necessary to preserve marriage, family, community, and the human race.
This is why Sharia (among other reasons) is better than Human Rights.
Sultan was not conversant with any of these points. In fact, bizarrely, he multiple times agreed that his acceptance of Human Rights entailed these 3 things as if they were good things.
Sultan employed 3 main arguments.
1. Attack me and my family personally in an attempt to psychoanalyze me and depict me as a sadistic person comparable to Hitler and Stalin.
2. Attack the Quran as not being consistent and objective.
3. Attack Sharia on slavery, sex slavery, “wife beating,” and “child marriage.”
My response was to ignore point 1 as it was laughable. Point 2 was off topic and the examples he gave were all either incoherent word salad or simply fallacious.
As an example, let me help Harris by putting his incoherent rambling into some semblance of an argument: The fact that some ayat changed in the course of the Prophet’s life ﷺ means that these verses are man-made and cannot be Divine revelation.
Harris clumsily fumbles to articulate this claim. But even if he were competent enough to state it, the audience is still left wondering: How? Why? Why does abrogation or change necessarily mean something is man-made? Harris asserted that this means the author of the Quran was not all knowing, but he failed to explain why this necessarily follows. Why couldn’t Allah reveal the Quran successively in whatever manner He sees fit?
Harris’ presentation of Point 2 was just a complete mess, but even if he had managed to express it cogently, it is still an asinine argument, not to mention completely irrelevant to the debate topic. The debate was not about the Divine nature of the Quran or other theological matters like Allah’s omnipotence or knowledge.
Point 3 was related to the debate topic, and so I responded by defending Islamic slavery, concubinage, youth marriage, and patriarchal physical authority, arguing that these things are morally justified and necessary given certain contextual realities that have existed for 99% of human history.
Harris did not respond to any of these points other than to arrogantly scoff, demonstrating his inability to think (a handicap found in virtually all murtaddin, but especially Harris).
The QnA portion of the debate was hijacked by Apus, who is clearly still recovering from his post-debate anxiety attack last year. This is a grown man who has dedicated numerous videos to me alone and then tries to wedge himself into another murtad’s debate. Never has the expression “living rent free in his head” been more humiliatingly demonstrated.
After this debate, it has become impossible to deny that online ex-Muslims have very little to offer intellectually and are, in fact, nothing more than conmen. During the debate with Harris, I was struck again and again by how ignorant Harris was of basic facts, not just about Islam (he openly admitted to not having read a single book on fiqh), but even about basic history or even very popular current events, e.g., the recent Western pull out of Afghanistan.
This was also more than evident in the debate with Apus.
Ultimately, the purpose of these debates is to humiliate the other side and show that their pretentions to knowledge are nothing but empty bluster. Debate has the unique ability to accomplish this, which makes it an important tool for dawah and islah.
I ask Allah to accept and forgive me for my shortcomings.
Here are some of the reactions to the debate by individuals who are either sympathetic to Harris, hostile to me, or neutral.