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Threat issued to me....?

Regarding previous post, I received this comment which was then deleted.


I strongly suspect this is not from a Muslim at all. Is it a threat? Merely a prediction by a concerned citizen? An attempt to smear Muslims by a non-Muslim (who also thinks it's a mistake to give the other speaker the honour of debating with some minor academic?)? Probably the last, I think.


Finn Cato said…
Being a former christian i have no problem identifying him as a muslim, or at least som deranged version of one.

Religious communities are so variegatet that it's no end to what ways you can be either christian, muslim or jew. each fraction have their own criteria by which to judge whether someone is "really" a follower or just posing.

But i hope this one is not representative of the majority of people calling themselves muslims.
People don't like it when you start calling into question the existence of their imaginary friends.
PassionforPasta said…
I don't know what to make of such threats, there is always a possibility that the threat is from a prankster seeking to make the other side look bad.

But I had an interesting observation; I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the "Is God a delusion?" debate poster the day before it was removed. I tried looking for other posters and found no traces of them (if they ever existed) anywhere on the university campus.

In my personal opinion, I think the debate was not advertised well enough, or someone intended to remove any poster linked with the debate in order to reduce the awareness of such a debate taking place.
PassionforPasta said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin said…
I saw this comment, as it came through on my e-mail reader. It connected the death of a Russian Orthodox priest, a threat issued on an Ingushetian rebel website last year, the argument that God is a delusion and your forthcoming debate. There's no obvious connection between all these things. It struck me that whoever made the comment had some sick intention in mind, and that they had then deleted the comment in a cowardly way.

Stephen, you seem fairly sure of the persons motive, but you don't elaborate. I wonder if there is more to this that you can share?

(Incidentally, I started to watch the clip containing Hamza Tzortzis, and he came across as sharp witted and entertaining. I am sure the debate will be a good one, and so I am wondering if I can get across to Kingston to see it.)
Greg O said…
The general tone ('perhaps you're not that knowledgable about Islam', 'you're fair game') suggests to me the author is a non-Muslim with a dim view of Islam. So somewhere between 'concerned citizen' and 'smear' I reckon; i.e. the author genuinely believes that people who openly deny the truth of Islam should be in fear of their lives, but saying so here has more to do with making a point about Islam than with preventing the assassination of Stephen Law.

I wish I could dismiss his concerns completely, but it's a fact that I would think very carefully before standing up in public and suggesting that Mohammed was in the grip of a delusion. I've no doubt that there really are Muslims out there who think that sort of 'blasphemy' is deserving of death. I'm sure an expert shit-stirrer could push things in a very nasty direction ('Prophet Mohammed was insane, says atheist who urged war for YOUR children's minds!!!') - but I guess you just have to hope this event stays under such people's radar (and trust that most Muslims would have more sense than to listen).
Greg O said…
Anyway, how many Chris Sivewrights are there in the world? (Or more to the point, in Oxford?) Email him and ask what he's up to!
Stephen Law said…
I was assuming it was a pseudonym, but you are right, there exists such a person. I just emailed him.
Stephen Law said…
The reason I suspect a non-Muslim is - why would a Muslim send me links to resources that will help me bone up?
Stephen Law said…
Thanks NoCaliphate. I had already assumed Hamza was Pro Caliphate. It's always a tricky one to know whether to share a platform. However this is is not a debate on political Islam but only on whether belief in God is a "delusion" which I interpret, following e.g. wiki, to mean fixed but false. So I'll just be arguing against traditional montheism, and he'll be defending it.

I am currently pondering on whether to pull out.

I have a blog:

I left the post on your blog - but then deleted it as, it seemed to me, to be somewhat provocative. (If I had simply wanted to provoke I would not have used my real name)

Interesting that you post 'deleted' posts. I didn't know that was possible (how can I do that on my blog - I am curious. Even if I did know, I wouldn't do it - but I would go and read what had been deleted.)
Stephen Law said…
OK I deleted it from the post. It was interpreted as an actual threat issued by a Muslim (I assumed a pseudonym was used). It wasn't.
Stephen Law said…
So, I'm going ahead with the event. There may be some risk to me personally, but I doubt it's significant.

Not giving a platform to pro-uk-caliphate totalitarian homophobes etc. is another matter. But given Hamza has at least officially distanced himself from a certain odious organization, given I made a commitment to do it, and given we're simply discussing the existence of God, I am happy to do it this time.

However, it's probably the last time I'll do such an event and so, like Michael Jackson, I'll say, "This is it!" (hope that doesn't come back to haunt me!)

I'm glad this got cleared up, looking forward to the debate. If you have any comments posted on the site that pertains to your well being please do let me know immediately. In addition to this, Kingston University has security present on Campus, and therefore while inside our campus we assure your safety at all times, but I'm confident that this is just a silly person with some agenda, hence leaving such distasteful comments.

Ruwayda Mustafah – Kingston University Debating Society President
Paul P. Mealing said…
Hi Stephen,

Assuming that you are going ahead, I would make the following request.

For those of us who can't attend, could you give a post-mortem analysis, or perhaps a synopsis of your address?

Regards, Paul.
Stephen Law said…
Yes, Paul - will do.

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