Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nadir Ahmed's Long War against Shabir Ally

Nadir Ahmed has challenged practically every Christian apologist in the country to debate him. The reactions from Christian apologists are nearly always the same. They point out that Nadir has no credentials, that he insults his opponents (even their families!), that his arguments are awful, that he has no scholarly background, that he accuses his opponents of being pedophiles, and that even Muslims generally don’t know who he is. Christian apologists also typically say that they would rather debate reputable Muslim apologists such as Shabir Ally, Jamal Badawi, and Zakir Naik.

Nadir’s response here is enlightening. He boldly proclaims that he is the only true Muslim debater in America, and that anyone who refuses to debate him is running from him. Sadly, in his efforts to rise to fame, Nadir often resorts to insulting his fellow Muslim apologists—even Shabir Ally! Even more absurd is that Nadir claims that Muslims prefer him over Shabir Ally!

For instance, Nadir recently went to James White’s church to challenge him to a debate. When Shabir Ally came up in the conversation, Nadir claimed that Muslims would rather see him debate than Shabir. James said that the Muslims of Shabir’s Islamic Information and Dawah Center might disagree with this; however, Nadir claimed that even the Muslims of Shabir’s Dawah Center are more interested in seeing Nadir Ahmed! (James also said that Nadir spent a great deal of time in their discussion attacking Shabir Ally. Click here to listen to James White’s discussion of this incident with Nadir.)

But it gets worse. I have an email in which Nadir claims that Shabir is weak-minded, and that Muslims do not support him. Nadir said:

And one more point which needs to be made clear - I am the ONLY Muslim apologist in America. Besides me there is none else. Therefore, since I am the only Muslim apologist, then if one of these learned men in the Bible refuse to debate me, then that raises a lot of questions. I am the only Muslim in America who has presented an [sic] compelling case that Islam is true based on the Archaelogical [sic], prophetic and scientfic [sic] evidence, and am prepared to debate and defend my premise. p.s. people like Shabir Ally (from Canada) are not Muslim apologists! they dont [sic] debate Islam. They only want to debate the Bible and show the errors in the book. But a Muslim apologist is one who's [sic] main focus is to debate Islam - debates the evidence for Islam, debates the case for the prophethood of Muhammed(P)... etc. Btw, Muslims do not support Shabir Ally, only Christians do, because he is weak minded.

I find it rather amazing that the only Muslim apologist in America can’t spell “archaeological” or “scientific.”

But Nadir didn’t leave it at that. After a recent debate between Nabeel Qureshi and Sami Zaatari, Nadir claimed that Shabir is a child, and that debating Shabir is like debating a grandmother! (Click here to listen to the discussion.) According to Nadir:

Our perception is that you guys are afraid to debate Examinethetruth.com, and therefore you run after people like Shabir Ally, people—kids, you know, like people’s grandma, and you try to debate them.

Why would Nadir say these things about one of the greatest Muslim apologists of our time? My personal view is that Nadir doesn’t really care about Islam. Instead, he cares about getting attention for himself. He wants the spotlight, and if Muslims get in the way, Nadir will try to trample on them.

So why do Christians prefer to debate Shabir Ally? Shabir is far more intelligent than Nadir. Shabir is a much better speaker. He’s immensely more knowledgeable. He acts like an adult, not like a child. Shabir outstrips Nadir in every relevant way.

How, then, does Nadir get any attention at all? Well, some people enjoy watching loud-mouth, arrogant debaters. Hence, Nadir does have some fans. But this hardly justifies Nadir’s treatment of his fellow Muslims.

Since Nadir has made some very specific claims about Shabir, about the members of his Dawah Center, and about Muslims in general, I think it’s time for an investigation. To begin, I will contact the Dawah Center to see whether they really support Nadir over Shabir. Does anyone else have thoughts on this?


kumikata said...

I see a strong similarity between the debate tactics of Nabir Ahmed and that of Christopher Hitchens. Both of the rhetoric of these men is more impressive than the substance of their arguments.

While a debate win over Shabir Ally is an impressive achievement for any Christian apologist, a decisive win over Nadir Ahmed may prove to be much more impressive to the average Muslim on the street. Just as an impressive debate showing against say, Austin Dacey, would be a feather in any apologists cap, showing the bankruptcy of Hitchens' arguments may have more of an impact on the average atheist on the street.

Considering how well James White performed against the likes of Shabir Ally, I think Nabir may be in for a long night when this debate takes place.

David Wood said...


I agree that Nadir shares some of the debate tactics of Hitchens. I've only seen one of Hitchens's debates, but I noticed that when he is asked a question about atheism, he simply attacks Christianity, as if this answers the question! Nadir is exactly the same.

However, if I were to compare Nadir to an atheist, I would probably compare him to one of the members of the "Rational Response Squad." (Hitchens, as you know, is quite intelligent, something that can't be said of any of the members of RRS.)

As for whether a victory over Nadir may carry more weight with the average Muslim than a victory over Shabir, I have to disagree. The average Muslim doesn't even know who Nadir is, whereas practically everyone knows who Shabir is. Shabir came to Virginia a few years ago, and hundreds of Muslims showed up to hear him speak and to watch his debate. Nadir showed up two years later, and only a few Muslims showed up. He's just not popular.

With that said, Nadir's arguments are closer to the average Muslim's arguments (i.e. poorly constructed, logically flawed, based on false premises, etc.). Thus, it is important to respond to Nadir, since he's more in tune with Muslims who know very little about Christianity or Islam (as opposed to Shabir, who knows a great deal about both).

kumikata said...


Was Nabeel's debate with Zaatari recorded?

David Wood said...


Yeah, but there were some technical difficulties. Nabeel's computer was messing up throughout his opening statement, so you couldn't really hear it. The rest of the debate was clear, though.

However, Sami and Nabeel will be debating in public over Easter weekend, and we'll definitely get a good recording of that.

Nadir Ahmed said...

actually, ExamineTheTruth.com's ministry is an international ministry, just last night our website received 1468 hits. I don't think Shabir Ally's website even receives 40 hits a day.

By God's grace, we have a readeship base from all over the world. As for the debate in Virginia Beach which David is talking about, I was not involved heavily in the marketing of that debate, however, in my previous debate at West Virginia University, there were over a hundred Muslims which attended the two debates I held there.

Nadir Ahmed

Nazam said...

Hi, I was wondering if the Virgnia debate that tooked place a few years ago with Shabir Ally was recorded? Many Thanks, Nazam.

David Wood said...


Yes. I was at the debate, and it was recorded. You'll probably have to ask Mike Licona or Shabir Ally about how you can get a copy.

george said...

i used to visit every muslim websites as i can but its sad to see nadir ahmeds site is more than personal attacks than explaining what islam is .if one get into his site can realize how much publicity he hunger for .if he is a talented guy then let his talent shine than his weakness