Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hamza and Pervez

As in Hamza Andreas Tzortsis and Pervez Hoodbhoy.
Hamza says that Muslim world is suffering from a crisis and the crisis is not Islamization but the disease of liberal capitalism combined with the frame work of secularism.
And want to talk to Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy.
He even tries Urdu - aao yaar bethein - baat karein, Come dear friend - let us talk.
Apparently the talk has already taken place - itchy people call them debates. According to Hamza:

It has been a busy and exciting few days. Yesterday I gave a talk at UCI in Islamabad on the purpose of life. Straight after the talk we had to drive down to Lahore to participate in the debate on religion and rationality with Professor Hoodbhoy at LUMS. I presented the rational foundations for Islam while expressing empathy on valid concerns the Professor has written about concerning religion and science. However, the Professor's presentation lacked any substance, his content was full of logical fallacies and misrepresented my arguments. He did not breakdown any of my arguments and he continued his monologue even though I had addressed and clarified his contentions multiple times. Towards the end of the discussion he walked out of the lecture theatre, most probably due to the fact that he had no substance and was exposed for his irrational and fallacious thinking. Today I gave a talk at an Islamic university in Faisalabad presenting the need to engage and how to respond to key atheist/secular contentions. I also delivered a workshop at a mosque. The day ended with a private dinner with over 20 of the leading medical doctors in Faisalabad. I delivered the dinner speech and discussed the need for intellectual engagement, and what we can do to counter secular and atheist narratives emerging in the Muslim world, specifically Pakistan. Tomorrow is another busy day. I'll update you later.
Professor Hoodbhoy is has a leftist  inclination. He has been mulling over the science versus faith issues for quite some time and had got the prestigious Kalinga Prize of UNESCO (given in India) for science popularization. He has written a book, also in the context of science and religion, as well as a few years ago he wrote a very popular article in the magazine Physics Today (and a new one too). His attitude towards these issues is sort of the majority view in the scientific circles and this interaction between Hamza and him will be sort of path breaking. A physicists had written a rejoinder to Professor Hoodbhoy after his Physics Today article but the present discussion has some potential to bring the issue to the fore.

As of writing the video of the talk and the transcript is not available. But some internal reports are scattered here and there. There is excitement of anticipation. Professor Hoodbhoy apparently kept trying to bring the debate to his pet grounds and brother Hamza did not allow that luxury and his assertion that Professor Hoodbhoy hates Islam or Islamic world really cracked him - he staged a walk out.

Internet commentators are adding their own perspective. Someone pointed out that Muslims consist either of Mullah ignorant about modern world or modern educated Muslims hating Islam. Some one else pointed out that most of the Muslims are in the middle of these demarcations. Another comment was that universities in Muslim world are producing western influenced class.