On Friday 13th February 2015, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) held their inaugural ‘Don’t Hate, Debate!’ event entitled “The Big Question: How Free is Speech?”
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Held at the state-of-the-art Blizard Building at Queen Mary University of London’s Whitechapel campus, the discussion was well attended with a diverse audience of more than 300 people, which included academics, students, medical professionals, journalists, politicians, and community leaders of all faiths and none.
Inevitably, there were some heated discussions between the panellists, who differed in their views on the objectives and application of free speech in light of the unfortunate Charlie Hebdo incident that took place last month. Other themes explored included the media satirising religion and the war on terror.
Most importantly, these topics and opinions which many on the panel and in the audience found distasteful were discussed in a civilised, polite and compassionate manner. There were no incidents of any speaker or member of the audience being warned by the chair for their behaviour or language.
‘The Big Question: How Free Is Speech?’ took place on Friday 13th February 2015 at Queen Mary University of London with a diverse panel of speakers including:
Chairperson: Yvonne Ridley
• Dan Hodges (The Telegraph)
• Hamza Tzortzis (iERA)
• Professor Peter Cave (British Humanist Association)
• Abdullah Al Andalusi (Muslim Debate Initiative)
• Andre Walker (Breitbart, London)
• Moazzam Begg (CAGE)