Here is a video of a discussion on Islam at How the Light Gets in Philosophy and Music Festival 2011 with the Islamic regime of Iran’s Press TV ‘journalist’ and convert Lauren Booth, ‘Islam scholar’ Iain Edgar and I. Independent columnist Mary Anne Sieghart chairs.

You can see the video here or below:


  1. How does it feel to stand up for the liberation of the yoke of islamism and having to debate with two people one of whom embraces islamism and the other apologises for it?

    When Lauren Booth called stoning "culture" my blood boiled. Art, literature, scientific and technological research and progress and education. That is culture.
    Stoning women, the death penalty simply for being homosexual or an apostate, throwing acid in people's face for "being indecently dressed", honour killings, brainwashing children to hate "infidels" and cruelty to animals is not culture; if anything it is barbarism.

    When Iain Edgar used America's invasion of Iraq in reply to your mentioning islamist violence and terror, I couldn't believe my ears. What sort of "scholar" appologises for violence? Everybody knows the invasion of Iraq was wrong, but that is no excuse for condoning islamism and the violence and hatred it preaches.
    Apparently, the politically correct left in the West is all too keen to look the other way when it comes to tackling the issue of islamism.

  2. Well said Maryam!

    I thought the discussion was almost completely ruined by Booth's continual inane interruptions – I thought you displayed tremendous patience under such provocation.

  3. Sally-Ann what's sad is not the lack of tolerance for the intolerable but how you and apologists for Islamism cloak your apology for stoning, and the Islamic inqusition under a cover of 'tolerance.'

  4. And btw, I wish we could have heard a bit more of the anthropologist. He sounded like he had an interesting perspective. But alas…mz Booth was too busy expressing her's.

  5. Sally Ann,
    The fact that I can't bear to hear another word by the unctuous mz Booth is my opinion. Funny how you complain about people not being able to tolerate "different perspectives" yet fail to make a distinction between my perspective and Maryam's ( who pretty much let her spout that stupidity to her hearts contend and didn't interrupt mz Booth half as many times as mz Booth interrupted Maryam)?

    As for mz Booth's perspective. The reason I cannot bear to hear that perspective again is because after two years of hearing it presented on different atheists sites…I think I got it. It has been heard, considered and rejected as not only dim but quite scary to any self respecting human being and especially a gay female self respecting human being.

    And btw..the right of mz Booth to express her opinion does NOT include the obligation for others to listen to it endlessly.
    Here's hoping no Jehova's witness ever rings your doorbell. 🙂

  6. I don't think there is a positive approach one can take on the "road to growth" when the issue at hand is law and law enforcement of violent religious extremism. When you are mugged in the street do you apologise for your sentiments but ask your assailant to please discuss this with you in a respectful way? No. You cry for HELP. There is no language aside from screaming that tyrants will hear.

  7. I find it sad that people who follow Maryam seem to have such little tolerance for other perspectives. 

    If you cannot bear to hear a person speak then are you really the best person to be calling for greater tolerance and understanding?

     This festival was about 'how the light gets in'- new ways of looking at different situations. 

    The other panelists embraced the connection through positive language of appreciation and mutual understanding. 

    Perhaps Maryam could learn a few lessons from the other two- you do not help a child grow by constantly insulting them. Instead you nurture that which is positive and build on this. Yes it takes patience and yes it takes understanding but this is the road to growth.

  8. I can't agree with you more on the spread of Islamism and whenever the subject is brought up there is an attempt to divert the topic with references and comparison's to religions and countries.

    Women wearing the hijab is cultural but with Islamism it has reached my country where we never used to wear it. And people who do not wear it is viewed as naked,unclean or anti Islamic even if they are Muslims.

  9. ROFL "half a billion muslims are happy with their lives"
    She did a poll did she? Great, now let's see how the remaining billion feels.
    I managed to watch this to the end but I think if I ever have to listen to another word out of Booth's mouth or see that unctuous expression on her face when she shuts her mouth after yet another testimony to the glory of islam, I am afraid my pacifism and firm belief in free speech will lead my head to explode.
    Maryam, you have my deepest admiration for being able to continue sitting there and debate civilly.

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