Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nadir Ahmed on “Dirty Tricks”: Part One

Once again Nadir Ahmed has attempted to defend his poor performance in his recent debate with Sam Shamoun. Nadir has written an article titled “Dirty Tricks: The Unfair Terms of the Debate I Was Forced to Accept.” When I read the article, the first thing I noticed was that Nadir didn’t list these “unfair” debate terms. This led me to suspect that the terms of the debate weren’t unfair at all, and that Nadir was simply trying to account for his loss by accusing Christians of unfair rules.

But I wanted to make sure. So I obtained a list of the “unfair” rules of the debate, which have been available all along here. Here’s the list:

Brief Debate Schedule

1- Nadir: 25-minute Opening Speech
2- Sam: 25-minute Opening Speech
3- Nadir: 10-minute Preceding Speech
4- Sam: 10-minute Preceding Speech
5- Nadir: 10-minute Preceding Speech
6- Sam: 10-minute Preceding Speech
7- Nadir: 5-minute Concluding Speech
8- Sam: 5-minute Concluding Speech
Nadir and Sam: 20 minutes Q&A Session


1. Absolutely NO personal attacks. Either side must only criticize the other’s point of view, not the personal character or style of the other. Such tactics are not only in poor taste, they are also logical fallacies (Ad Hominem).
2. Each side MUST abide by the debate schedule and rules as delineated above. This debate needs to maintain order. There will be a moderator present to keep the time limits and debate rules. You will be notified 5 minutes and/or 1 minute before the end of each speech. You will NOT have any extra time.
3. The topic of the debate is, “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?” No one is allowed to diverge from this topic. Each side is responsible to answer the question and why he believes his answer. You may offer counter arguments to your opposition and answer their criticisms, but you may NOT argue against other issues within either camp’s worldview. For example, we do not want to talk about whether or not Jesus is God.
4. Both sides need to be 1 hour earlier to the auditorium before the debate. If filming is going to take place, then those filming must also be 1 hour early.
5. There will be a moderator present at the debate. The moderator’s main task is to keep each side following the regulations and time constraints. If either party delineates from the rules or schedule listed above, the moderator will stop him and warn him in front of the audience. The time it takes to get the violating party to be warned will count against his total speech time. If the party persists in violating the regulations, he may be disqualified from the debate.

Is there anything unfair here? No personal attacks, stick to the schedule, stick to the topic, arrive early, listen to the moderator. These are rules that would be obvious to any debater.

Careful consideration reveals that Nadir has given us a double-dose of Taqiyya. First, he agreed to these rules, and yet he violated them during the debate. He attacked Sam personally and repeatedly went off-topic. Why would he agree to these rules, knowing that he would violate them when on-stage? Taqiyya! Welcome to Islam.

Second, Nadir has tried to deceive his readers into believing that he was “forced” to accept “unfair” debate rules. Consider a quotation from his article, with a brief comment from me. Notice that he calls the rules a “crime”!

Let’s pause for a second – you might be wondering, “What fool would agree to such terms!!!”. [Wood’s response: What terms, Nadir? You haven’t even listed the terms, because you know that they’re completely fair!] Well… I would say that I am that fool. Because it was obvious that their actions were a clear sign of desperation and fear and I will not allow them to get away with their crime.

This is an obvious attempt to justify his inability to overcome Sam’s arguments. But three facts remain. First, Nadir lost the debate (miserably). Second, he tried to deceive Christians by agreeing to the rules and then violating them. Third, he is trying to deceive both Christians and Muslims by accusing the debate organizers of “unfair” play. This is simply awful. We can see why Nadir has no credibility in the debate world.


Nadir Ahmed said...

Great, you do not dispute any of the facts of
this article...

The format is one which was chosen by YOU to suit your needs, but not mine. Ok no problem, let us both compromise, George said NO. Sam wants this format.. I said..."OH COME ON!!! BE REASONABLE... please consider my needs as well!!! Lets be fair here.

One of the greatest compromise I was forced to swallow, was that they removed all cross examination period from this debate, because Shamoun requested it. That was @#$@#$! Cross examination for those who do not know, is when we have 1 minute back and forth where we corner our opponent on issues.

George said no. I couldnt believe this crap.

And of course Sam, don't forget the email which in which I begged you to please hurry up and sign the contracts, because Dr. Sabeel Ahmed( Muslim moderator) and others are waiting to buy the tickets for the entire family to come to L.A. But you guys still stalled till the last minute. Tickets were at $400.00 by this point!!

Then I received a text message from George... stating.. that they have decided there will be no Muslim moderator, breaking their promise.. Rediculous. I then told Sabeel and others, and apologized to them for all which was happening. And of course, I will have no says so in who the moderator will be... they will choose it.

I also told George that the afternoon was very bad for me, please let's do the debate in the evening, once again... request denied.

I also had some rules I wanted inforced in the debate, all denied.

Basically, this was like some big joke - all the rules, format and everything about the debate was dictated to me by Shamoun and the ministry, and they made it clear... that I will have NO say so in any of the affair.

Once this was made clear, George txt messaged me and said, Nadir, if you accept these terms then we can procede.

I of course accepted, because I knew that no matter what... Shamoun is going to get blown away... and I was right :)

Nadir Ahmed

David Wood said...


You have said that the Christians involved in this debate were guilty of a "crime" (interpreted metaphorically, of course).

Let's examine your case.

First, you demanded a cross examination period, and you didn't get one. Why would this be necessary? You had two ten-minute rebuttals and a conclusion to answer Sam's claims. Given the way Sam was dominating you, you should be thankful that there wasn't a cross-x. Even more importantly, however, SAM DID OFFER YOU A CROSS-X PERIOD! Why don't you tell your readers this? The debate was subject to certain time constraints, because they had a lecture (from Sam) scheduled for after the debate. In a spirit of compromise, Sam offered to cancel his lecture and to have a debate on the topic he would be discussing--namely, Islamic monotheism. He agreed to do both debates with you, and to have a full hour of cross examination! But you refused! Since you backed down from his challenge, they proceeded with the lecture. So why, Nadir, was there no cross-x? Because you didn't accept Sam's generous offer! And yet you refuse to explain this to your readers. More Taqiyya?

Second, you demanded a Muslim moderator in addition to a Christian moderator. But is this a reasonable demand? I've never seen a debate with two moderators, so I have no clue why you should have the right to demand such an extravagant thing. If the moderator had been biased, you would have a point. Yet the moderator did everything in his power to help you. He even rebuked the audience for interrupting you, and he gave you extra time to make up for it! Given the facts, Nadir, your complaints are simply despicable.

Third, you say that Sam took a long time to sign his contract. Come on. You're grasping at straws here. Is it a "crime" to be slow in signing a contract? Was this immoral in any way? I'd be worried about signing a contract with you too!

Finally, you say that you wanted certain rules enforced. Well, since you didn't follow the rules yourself, I can only wonder why you would insist on other rules. But please inform us, Nadir, what these rules were, and why the Christians were so unfair for not enforcing them. As things stand, all of your complaints are ridiculous--an obvious attempt to justify your poor performance. To make matters worse, you deceive your readers by not giving them the whole story!

I will just say from personal experience, Nadir, that you are extremely difficult to work with. Why do you think that Nabeel and I demanded, as a condition of arranging debates with you, that there be no contact between us and you? You complain about everything. No matter what happens, no matter how fair the rules are, you accuse everyone of being deceptive, and you won't budge an inch. The only way to end the complaining and bickering is to say, "All right, no more discussion. These are the rules--take 'em or leave 'em." And that's exactly what the organizers were forced to do.

So quit whining, Nadir. You're only making yourself look worse. (And I've got plenty of articles coming out over the next week!)

Lokenath said...

A devilish ideology can't create great thinkers or academicians, and Nadir bhai is an evidence for this claim. His debates are covered with ad hominems, with few real arguments which are on topic. Now if you consider this an ad-hominem I'd say I'm commenting on his debating style and general demeanor on the stage. I wonder why he gets infuriated so often when his grounding is on a peaceful and accommodating religion. It was funny that he said "We know how peaceful Jesus is from the Old Testament" and he is also an Islamic apologist at the same time. I thought Jesus was a messenger of Allah according to muslims?! So doesn't him implying that Jesus wasn't peaceful put his own religion's claim on dodgy grounds? After all, if 1. Jesus was violent(non-peaceful) and 2. Jesus was a prophet of Islam, doesn't 3. Islam isn't peaceful become a very strong conclusion? That was a childish attempt to say the least. :)