Closing Address to the “Dialogue with Islam” Meeting (2015), by Sean Gabb

The main written and video record of this meeting is here. But, having looked at the entire video of the event, I feel that my closing address is worth publishing separately.


  1. There was a powerful movement within mainstream Islam that held that moral right and wrong (good and evil) could be found by human reason (that humans were persons – agents) – and that even scripture should be interpreted in the light of this. Also this movement held that humans were agents – that we could not only tell right and wrong (independently of scripture), but could CHOOSE (really choose) between right and wrong (independently of scripture – and not in a manner predetermined by God).

    Sadly this movement was defeated almost a thousand years ago.

    Therefore the prospects for a successful dialogue with mainstream Islam are somewhat limited.

  2. You are becoming quite the audio-visual rage Sean. What next?–a place on Strictly Come Dancing?

    Seriously though–a good speech. The flaw being that it is the Left that is our real problem not Islam. With leftist control gone we could see off Islam like blowing out a candle.

    • The involuntary mental image of Sean grappling with a ballgown clad Ann Widdecombe on the Strictly dance floor is going to give me nightmares tonight, I just know it.

    • It is not clear that the Leftists and Islamists are such distinct categories as they once may have been. In particular, I recommend Jamie Glazov’s book United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror which explores the modern phenomenon of Islamicist terror and traditional politicl leftism in some detail.

  3. Well, that was blunt, heh.

    My own view is that we are watching the death throes of traditional Islamic culture, forced upon it by the changing practical conditions of modernity. As such, had we not imported a very large and growing Islamic minority into this country, the best policy would have been one of containment; stand back and watch until it’s all over. That probably still is the best policy in my humble opinion.

    We will not destroy them with bombs. The internet on the other hand is a devastating weapon.

    • The internet can ce a powerful tool with which to confront political opponents of various sorts, including Islamacists, But only so long as we are free to use it confrontationally. Efforts to censor internet commentary in the name of social peace are bad enough, but we also see a movement to impose the Islamic definition blasphemy as actionable and even the Islamic notion of defamation. The latter condemns saying any true thing about Islam which Islamists regard as strategically counterproductive to acknowledge.

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