My two debates with Sheikh Awal have been canceled, and due to this display of Muslim intimidation, manipulation, and bullying, Sam is no longer willing to debate Sheikh Awal. There is, however, no reason to cancel the debates with Sheikh Jowad Al-Ansari, so those will go on as scheduled (unless Muslims find some excuse to complain about those as well). There is also no reason for James not to debate Sheikh Awal, so I suspect that this debate will proceed as scheduled as well.
Unless another Muslim agrees to step in at the last minute (highly doubtful, with only a month remaining), in place of the canceled debates, we will have lectures on the debate topics at the scheduled times. There will be an open mic after each lecture, so that Muslims and Christians have an opportunity to ask questions, raise objections, etc. We will also announce that the debates were canceled due to Muslim complaints, and the reasons for the complaints.
I’m not sure who supported the cancellation of the debates, but based on past comments, I’m guessing that Yahya Snow is now engaging in manipulation to prevent open dialogue. (If I’m wrong in thinking that Yahya is the guilty party, please let me know and I will correct this post. I suspect Yahya because his work seems to revolve around complaining about people who inform others of the reasons for Muslim atrocities, and because he often goes behind people’s backs to complain about them in an effort to create division.)
It seems that debate and dialogue have suffered a major hit today. When Muslims kill people for criticizing Muhammad, I will always (and I mean ALWAYS) show people why Muslims are killing. This is non-negotiable. But it also seems that Yahya Snow has started a campaign of whining in an effort to shut down all dialogue with people who insist that Muslim atrocities must be exposed. And since they are taking the extraordinarily desperate step of contacting people around the world in order to shut down debates, it seems I will now be debating atheists (who aren’t nearly as sensitive and manipulative as our Muslim friends!). Of course, if this tactic is successful, we can expect further demands (e.g. nothing negative or critical about Islam, or no debates!).
I will say now that I regard the efforts of Yahya as a milder form of terrorism. To see why, consider Revolution Muslim’s threats against Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The message was, “Don’t insult Muhammad, OR ELSE” (where “or else” refers to being brutally slaughtered by Muslims). Yahya Snow has a similar message: “Don’t show people why Muslims are brutally murdering people, OR ELSE” (where “or else” refers to shutting down debates, as if this will get me to submit to their demands). I might as well proclaim now, and for all time, that I will never (and I mean NEVER) back down in the face of such manipulation and intimidation. When Muslims kill and slaughter, I am going to post the reasons (whether cartoons, videos, etc.) that supposedly justify the killing and slaughtering. If that means that dozens of future debates won’t take place, or that Sam and I will now need to focus on debating people who don’t look for excuses to avoid losing debates, all I can say is . . . “Farewell Debate! Long Live Liberty!”
On the positive side, I now have a ton of time for my "Qur'an Errors" series! Stay tuned!
****UPDATE**** Yahya Snow has acknowledged his responsibility in calling for a shut down to the debates. You can visit his (horribly deceptive) website to assess his claims (such as his claim that Van Gogh's "Submission" is pornographic). He added in the comments section:
I must say David's claim of "mild terrorism" is far-fetched and sensationalistic to an extreme.
David misses the point. The point is not to silence Wood but to make a statement of responsibility; why should Wood's behaviour go over-looked?...It sends the wrong message to the Truth-seeker and other apologists.
The way to guarantee a debate is not to incite and provoke but to produce material of scholarly substance and intellectual honesty
As for the sheikh's cancellation...it appears some other person(s) communicated with the Sheikh prior to me...this just highlights the fact that it is not simply a rogue individual who feels David Wood is not a responsible choice for a debate opponent but it ponts to a collective feel...this "collective feel" is vindicated by the said sheikh withdrawing.
Rather than Wood attempting to pass himself off as a martyr he would be better advised to self-reflect upon his recent behaviour which drew concern from both Christians and Muslims.
Observe his comment: "The way to guarantee a debate is not to incite and provoke but to produce material of scholarly substance and intellectual honesty." Translation: If you do something to offend Muslims, no debates! (Isn't that what I said his message was? And isn't this why I called it an "OR ELSE" mild form of terrorism. "Don't tell people why Muslims are butchering people, or else!")
Yahya keeps referring to my "recent behaviour which drew concern from both Christians and Muslims." Where exactly is the Christian concern? So far as I can tell, virtually every non-Muslim on this blog agreed that it's relevant to post the reasons (even if those reasons are cartoons) Muslims are killing and threatening people. (And if Yahya really believes in listening to concerned individuals, he might want to check out the concern over his behavior.)
So Yahya calls for a cancellation of the debates, but says that other people must have contacted the Sheikh. But why did they contact the Sheikh? Because of my recent behavior? Nonsense. I've always posted cartoons when Muslims kill over them. Long before this blog even existed, I posted the cartoons here when riots erupted. No one went berserk. I had more than two dozen public debates with Muslims after I posted these cartoons.
Or was it because I posted the "pornographic" video "Submission"? "Submission" was one of the first posts on this website ever, and I have reposted it numerous times. No one ever threw a tantrum over it until Yahya Snow came along. He goes around the internet saying, "Look, David Wood has posted pornography!" Really? Then why can a four-year-old watch this "pornography" on YouTube? Doesn't Yahya know that four-year-olds can't watch pornography on YouTube? But this doesn't stop Yahya. He goes around complaining to Muslims until everyone is convinced that they'd better not click on that (brilliant and moving) video, since it's filled with "pornography." These Muslims then go around the internet like Yahya, saying, "Don't go to Answering Muslims! It's filled with pornography! Don't discuss things with David Wood! He's an evil pornography-poster!"
This is pathetic. Yahya, you've been an instigating, division-causing trouble-maker since you got here. You were banned once for treating Christians like your Dhimmis. Later, I started letting some of your comments through, and they were filled with more irrational complaints. Now debates have been shut down because of your complaints and whining. Not only debates with me, but debates with Sam will not take place this year because of you. And yet you'll say, "NO! IT'S BECAUSE OF YOUR BAD BEHAVIOR DAVID!" Nonsense. I've been critical of Muhammad for years, and I've been posting videos and news-worthy cartoons for years, and it's never been a problem for Muslims. It wasn't a problem until you came along. What makes all of this worse is that you pretend to be respectful and kind, when your entire goal is to divide and conquer.
Well Yahya, you are now officially banned from Answering Muslims. If you're shutting down debate and dialogue because I've posted news-worthy cartoons on this website, then practice what you preach. Shut down the dialogue and don't leave anymore comments. It's a matter of consistency, you see. You can't say, "No debate or dialogue with David Wood" and then attempt to have debate and dialogue with David Wood.
Say "Thank You" to Yahya, everyone. He's doing some amazing work in the world (though it seems to consist of nothing but complaining, manipulating, backbiting, ruining events, shutting down dialogue, and so on). Perhaps he can join Osama Abdallah's website. He'd fit right in. (Actually, I think I would get along with Osama better than I would get along with Yahya.)
****2ND UPDATE**** I have heard from two members of MDI (Yahya and Sami), who say that MDI has nothing to do with boycotting any debates. At the same time, one of the American members (Farhan) seems to support the cancellation. But any action taken by individual MDI members doesn't seem to reflect any official position of the organization. So I've removed references to MDI in this post.
This does leave open the question of Yahya Snow's claim that I am being banned by a UK apologetics organization. Yahya is banned from AM, but he gets a one-time pass to clarify this issue. Which organization has banned me, Yahya? Some organization that I've never heard of? Or were you making things up about MDI?
8:30--Still waiting, Yahya.
9:00--No, I'm not PMing you, Yahya. You're the one who has decided to cut off dialogue, and as I've said, this means there will be no more dialogue with you. I've offered you a one-time chance to clarify your claim that I'm under a boycott by a UK apologetics group. So post a comment clarifying which group this is. After that, you and I will never interact again.
9:30--I repeat, Yahya, I'm not PMing you. You gave up the right to rational discourse when you called for debate cancellations, and most of us here want nothing to do with you ever again. So either post a clarification concerning which UK apologetics group has called for a boycott (of the infamous David Wood, who insists that the reasons for Muslim violence should be shown to the world), or quit sending me messages.
6;30 (the next day)--Well, we've given Yahya Snow all the time in the world to tell us which UK Muslim apologetics group has boycotted me. He still hasn't answered, despite numerous messages sent to me. Was Yahya making this up? I know he's made up quite a bit in the past. Is this Taqiyya? So much for Yahya's "nice guy" charade.
7:30--Well, Yahya now says that he won't reveal the UK Muslim Apologetics group that has boycotted me. A secret boycott sounds quite strange. What's the point of boycotting someone who doesn't know he's boycotted? Yahya has also complained that I'm vilifying him, when he's shown such dear friendship and concern for me. I invite everyone to go through Yahya's website and videos. He's been attacking me and Sam for months, with practically no response from us. Then, as soon as I respond, suddenly Yahya is my buddy and how dare I criticize him for calling for an end to my debates, telling people I've been boycotted by an unknown group, deceiving people about me, etc. This is my message to Yahya: If you want to be on friendly terms with people, you shouldn't do the sort of things you do. Stop it, and maybe people will start treating you as a friend. As long as you continue to act the way you do, don't expect people to pay attention to you. Based on your never ending supply of videos and articles, it seems you desperately wanted attention from me and Sam. Now that you've got my attention, why are you complaining? Did you really think you'd go around the internet attacking me forever (e.g. your complaints to Negeen and Nabeel, attempting to cause division), without a response? Change your ways, Yahya. Attempting to shut down debate is unacceptable. Read the comments here and see how repulsed people are at your behavior. If you want to be on better terms with them, you'll need to make some changes.
10:00--Yahya says I should contact the founders of every UK Muslim apologetics group I know of in hopes that I might figure out which one has boycotted me. Sheesh! I give up. Here's a summary of the conversation over the past few weeks:
YAHYA: "Don't deal with the unethical, immoral, wicked David Wood who openly displays pornography on his website! I'll send messages to his friend Nabeel and his friend Negeen to try and cause division! Yes, stay away from this evil person! He's so evil, he's been boycotted by a Muslim apologetics organization here in the UK!"
DAVID: "So which organization has boycotted me?"
YAHYA: "I can't tell you."
DAVID: "You can't tell me? There's supposedly a boycott on me."
YAHYA: "Well, in order to find out which Muslim apologetics group is boycotting you, you'll have to start contacting the founders of Muslim apologetics groups. Maybe you'll find the one that's boycotting you."
DAVID: "Do you know what a boycott is, Yahya?"
Then, strangely, after months of attacks, insults, and outright deception, and after he called for an end to two debate careers, Yahya had the nerve to insist that he's been a great friend to me all along, and that he's secretly defending me behind the scenes. Well, with friends like Yahya . . .