August 7, 2013
By Al Kresta
The Detroit Free Press, Ann Arbor.com and Deadline Detroit have suggested that Ave Maria Radio is sponsoring a hate-fest. It is because of such ignorant opinions that Ave Maria is holding these debates.
Here is Al Kresta’s response:
“While I am grateful to the Free Press for covering the conference, I was disappointed that Robert Spencer’s participation was treated as a sign of ill will. Have we lost our confidence in honest confrontation? It was Shadid Lewis of the Muslim Debate Initiative who called for a public debate with Spencer during a podcast in which he reviewed Spencer’s book, Religion of Peace. I take Lewis at his word. Spencer’s positions are held by millions of Americans and if they are baseless, the competent Muslim apologists will demonstrate it. Apparently some of the Muslim groups quoted do not believe Mr. Lewis is up for the task. Otherwise wouldn’t they want the opportunity to publicly expose his ‘hate-mongering’ and’ Islamophobia’? It won’t do in a principled pluralistic society to hive off into our ethnic or religious ghettos and accuse outsiders of hatred and bigotry when we haven’t even confronted them publicly.
“A mark of intellectual maturity is to be able to re-present our opponent’s position in a way that our opponent recognizes as fair and accurate. Those attending will better understand each side and will be less willing to hastily prejudge one side or the other. For heaven’s sake, this is a public debate not a one-sided propaganda fest. We must get beyond cliches if we are to live together with irreconcilable differences. To those who sit on the sidelines and criticize, I prefer my way of bringing people together to their way of not doing it.”
President and C.E.O. Ave Maria Communications
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