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A good talk on some of the problems facing people who wish to debate sensitive topics in society.

    “No idea is above scrutiny and no people are beneath dignity. And what I mean by that is that no idea in Islam, like any other religion and any other philosophy and political thought and creed, is an idea. An idea is by definition adopted voluntary and therefore should be subject to scrutiny. And so I don’t subscribe to any form of blasphemy or censorship when it comes to an intellectual and rigorous debate around any idea. On the other hand, no people are beneath dignity.

     So no idea is above scrutiny, no people are beneath dignity. And what I mean by that is, it’s very easy when understanding it in this way to recognize, and you can recognize it in your gut, the difference between somebody who is saying I don’t like the religion of Islam. Let me scrutinize it, you know. I think this whole thing about the literal word of God doesn’t sit comfortable with me. That’s very different to someone saying all Muslims are terrorists and they are a disease in America we must expel them. Your gut can recognize the difference between those two. I think Muslims as a people deserve every dignity like any other human being. But every single idea – Charlie Hebdo is a case in point. People have the right, the absolute right to scrutinize and satirize.”

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